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On Dec. 3, 2003, Robert “Bob” Paul Hunt was supposed to make a trip to Florida. He never arrived.
The following day his son found Hunt, 46, shot to death in his Leitchfield home on Armes Lively Road, said Norman Chaffins, Kentucky State Police Post 4 spokesman and investigating officer.
Nearly nine years later, the case remains unsolved. Chaffins is hesitant to call it a “cold case.”
Though unsolved, he said the investigation has never changed hands, and he works the case about once a month, sometimes more, and frequently communicates with Hunt’s sister.
Chaffins said he’s followed up on hundreds of leads, had multiple suspects and tested four potential murder weapons.
Nothing has panned out.
“It’s baffling, actually,” said Chaffins, an 18-year veteran of KSP who was working as a detective at the time. “We’ll hear about a new lead. We get excited about it and then we hit a brick wall.”
On Dec. 1, 2003, Hunt was drinking with a friend at the American Legion in Leitchfield, according to the trooper. The friend took Hunt home before midnight.
Shortly after midnight on Dec. 2, police believe Hunt was shot multiple times either by a suspect inside the home or one who entered the residence, Chaffins said.
“It was common knowledge that Mr. Hunt left his home unsecured,” he said. “He never locked his door.”
From the first day of the investigation, Chaffins said police faced an obstacle as Hunt’s body was not discovered until nearly three days later.
“The first 48 hours are crucial, and we lost that,” he said. “We had to start in a hole initially.”
Police have ruled the out the shooting as a robbery because nothing was taken from Hunt’s home, he said.
“We believe it was somebody who knew him, somebody who was angry with him,” Chaffins said.
Though Hunt, who owned a Huddle House location in Leitchfield, was well liked and generous, the trooper said, he also was known to drink.
“When he drank, he became a different person,” Chaffins said.
Though Hunt had many friends, he said the restaurant owner also had many people who had negative encounters with him while he was drinking.
Over the years, Chaffins said he’s asked other investigators to review the case and re-interview suspects.
At this point, Chaffins believes it will take someone coming forward to solve the case, he said.
“It’s something I always have on my mind when I come home,” Chaffins said about Hunt’s murder.
As he approaches retirement, Chaffins said while he would like to see the investigation to its close, he plans to pass the case to another investigator if it remains unsolved when he reaches retirement.