Putnam sheriff asks for our readers help to solve a local murder

Historic City News received a broadcast from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office asking for assistance in identifying the assailant of a 38-year-old St Johns County man who resided in a condominium at World Golf Village on January 31, 2019.

The murder victim, Ellie Marie Washtock, was found dead inside a residence at Laterra Condominiums by his 15-year-old son.  First responders determined that Washtock could not be revived and St Johns County deputies initiated a suspicious death investigation.

At the request of Patty O’Connell, Washtock was informally researching the circumstances around the death of her daughter, Michelle.  The first medical examiner in that case, Fred Hobin, ruled the death of Michelle O’Connell a “homicide”.  The cause was later changed to “suicide”, which has been a bone of contention among O’Connell family members ever since.

When St Johns County detectives learned of Washtock’s involvement in the ongoing probe which involves accusations that one of their own deputies, Jeremy Banks, in fact killed O’Connell, his former live-in girlfriend, adjacent Putnam County detectives were asked to assume control of the investigation.

Earlier this month a new medical examiner ruled the Washtock death was a homicide from a gunshot wound.  There have been no arrests in this case.

Anyone with information that might be helpful is asked to contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 386-329-0800 or to contact CrimeStoppers of Northeast Florida at 1-888-277-8477. You can remain anonymous and earn a cash reward for tips leading to an arrest in this crime.

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