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Killing of 71-year-old Templeton man remains unsolved

There are still no suspects. No known motive. And even now, two years later, no closure for a family left behind knowing that a killer lives free.

It was two years ago March 28 that someone slipped into the Templeton home of Jerry Greer, 71, and shot him multiple times in the head, neck and shoulder while he slept.

Since that day, Greer’s family and friends have struggled with more questions than answers. The uncertainty has remained as constant as the grief left in his absence.

The case remains an active investigation with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, but Greer’s daughter Debbie Thompson has grown frustrated waiting for justice.

In January, she hired a private investigator and recently pledged a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her father’s killer.

“I want answers,” said Thompson, who lives in Northern California. “I want to know who killed my father, and I am having difficulty knowing that the killer is still out there.”

Greer, who lived alone, was a man of routine. He was cantankerous but loved for it by those he got to know over the years as he made daily stops at local restaurants and businesses like clockwork. He had a strong presence in the community, and people continue to talk about his death today.

He lived a simple life, had no known enemies and kept close ties with his two brothers and sister, whom he lived within three miles of most of his life.

Nothing was taken or touched in his home the night he was murdered — making it seem that the killer was there only to take his life.

Chris Cook, the Humboldt County private investigator hired to find Greer’s murderer, said she was struck by how much the community welcomed her when she started asking questions and how much Greer is missed.

“I am determined to find out who killed Jerry Greer,” Cook said. “And I’ve learned that as time passes, people talk. Whoever did it will eventually trust someone and tell them about it, and I am hoping this increased reward will give someone the incentive to contact me.”

Cmdr. Ron Hastie said the Sheriff’s Department supports Cook and the family’s efforts and will continue with its own investigation, which has accumulated more than 700 hours of staff time.

A detective is assigned to the case as his main priority, said Hastie, but low staffing requires that he help with other cases as they come in, too.

“I understand law enforcement and the fact that they have limited resources,” said Cook, who has a background in law enforcement. “They might be working on it one day but next day get a huge case that takes priority, and as time goes by more and more cases come in until this one gets to the bottom.”

Thompson said she refuses to let the case go cold.

“We want to know what happened, and we want the person prosecuted,” Thompson said.

“I’m not going to give up until the person is caught.”

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