Almost immediately after Konnie Bedell was shot to death in North Naples, detectives suspected her ex-boyfriend, Lawrence MacDonald.
Neighbors reported hearing gunshots hours before the mother of two was found dead on her back porch the morning of Aug. 8. Investigators quickly named MacDonald, who was court ordered to stay away from Bedell, as a so-called "person of interest," citing a history of domestic violence.
More than five months later, detectives still are waiting to make an arrest.
"We have interviewed him as part of our investigation," Capt. Chris Roberts said of MacDonald, who is being monitored while he goes about his business out of state. "He remains the only person of interest in our investigation."
Six people were killed in homicides in 2012 in Collier County; Bedell's death remains one of three in which an arrest has not yet been made.
Roberts said one roadblock is the time it takes to get results back from the crime lab, as is the case in the deaths of Bedell, 44, and Joseph Godcharles, 48.
Godcharles was found dead inside his North Naples condominium the morning of Aug. 1. Detectives have not publicly released how he was killed, but said they recovered a weapon from the home. He did not have gunshot wounds, they said.
Roberts said a motive still is unclear — there was no forced entry into the apartment and it did not appear anything was stolen. While evidence is being tested for forensic clues, "we have yet to identify a person of interest or a suspect," he said.
The third unsolved case has a named suspect: Lemuel Meza Cruz, 33, who is listed on a warrant for second-degree murder.
Meza Cruz is wanted in connection with the death of Juan Flores Monroy, 24, who was stabbed to death and found March 27 on the side of a dirt road in Immokalee. Witnesses said Meza Cruz attacked Flores Monroy with a knife following an argument that turned physical.
Detectives said Meza Cruz was listed on a flight manifest for a plane traveling from Atlanta to Mexico City on the night of the killing. Roberts said the Sheriff's Office is working with Mexican authorities to locate him.
This year's cases aren't the only ones still being investigated — detectives continue to search for information in previous years' killings, including the double homicide of Carmen Perez-Stolts, 81, and her boyfriend, Ludwig Volksheimer, 71, on Sept. 13, 2011.
The couple was found shot to death inside their bedroom at 5770 Sea Grass Lane in Golden Gate, according to detectives. Family members have said the couple also was stabbed and tied to the bed.
Roberts said detectives have a person of interest in the case who is currently incarcerated on unrelated charges. Investigators have spoken with the person, whose name has not been made public, about the killings.
While the Sheriff's Office said last year that the homicides did not appear to be motivated by a robbery, Roberts said there were "some signs that it was."
"We believe that there was stuff taken from the house," he said. "It certainly could have been a robbery."
Detectives do not believe there is any danger to other residents in the area, he said.
Other Collier County homicides in 2012:
Adam Rocha Robles, 55, is accused of stabbing his son-in-law, 26-year-old Alvaro Nava Gachuz, 26, at a home in Immokalee on May 19. During the attack, Rocha Robles also held a knife to his daughter’s stomach, threatening, “You ruined my life, now I am going to ruin yours,” an incident report said. Rocha Robles turned himself in the next day and remains at the Naples Jail Center, where he is being held on bonds totaling $500,000.
Abraham John Eckman, 23, is accused of firing a shot into the bedroom window of Ernie Torres, who died at his Golden Gate home on Aug. 4. Friends said Torres, 25, was dating a woman who had a child with Eckman, and that the two men had been in an ongoing dispute over Eckman’s resentment of their relationship. Eckman was arrested on a warrant for second-degree murder on Oct. 11. He remains at the Naples Jail Center in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Natalia Trejo, 17, and Coby Deleon, 18, were found shot to death Dec. 12 inside a home the couple shared in Immokalee. Collier detectives described the deaths as a “probable murder-suicide.” Incident reports said Trejo was found curled up in the fetal position, while Deleon was leaned up against a wall with a gun between his legs. Both had gunshot wounds to the head.