Middle Georgia Cold Cases: Intent to Kill

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – 26 years ago, two managers at a popular fast food restaurant chain in Macon were killed. Bibb County sheriff’s investigators think someone, or a group, planned the attack to get away with cash.Captain Jimmy Barbee says this case is one of the harder cases he’s had to try to figure out.

Riverside Drive is busy basically throughout the entire day. Drivers zip up and down the street.

In 1989, a McDonald’s sat on the corner of Riverside and Northside Drives – the store was just as popular then as it is now.

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Steven Rose and Frederick Kea worked there as managers.

“Somebody had to know how long they’d be in that business,” Barbee says.

Each night, the two deposited the restaurants money before heading home — traveling in pairs for safety. One January night was different. They had to drop off an employee at home earlier in the evening, so they deposited the money then.



“The money had already been gone, put in the bank. They came back to the store to finish their inventory. When they closed up to leave, they were basically assassinated in the parking lot,” Barbee says.

Who could’ve done that?

“They never walked up and said ‘hey this is a robbery’. This was boom, shoot, fall.”

Captain Barbee says whoever was behind this double homicide knew what they were doing. They even used rifles to commit the murders. All that was left here at the scene were shell casings and bodies.

“I think it was targeted. They knew the business was closed an they simply waited and ambushed until they came out with the night deposit,” says Barbee.

An ambush? Barbee says he thinks the thieves were after money.

“This is just two guys trying to make a living and somebody just killing them,” he says while reflecting on the case.

More than 20 investigators from what was the Macon Police Department and the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office covered the case.

“At the time, McDonald’s was on one side of Northside Drive which was the county. The other side of Northside Drive was the city and the middle of the road was the city/county line,” Barbee says.

The found Kea’s body in the McDonald’s parking lot, Rose’s body was discovered hours later next to an air conditioning unit at a paint store.

“From the evidence we found at the scene, he was shot the first time at the parking lot of the McDonald’s, a second time in the roadway of Northside Drive,” Barbee says.

Officers were lost, not knowing if this was premeditated by someone local or a transient thief or thieves.

“They killed them before they realized the money is not here,” Barbee says.

All of the investigators who originally covered the case have since retired, Barbee says the  case will stay open until someone jail, bringing justice for two families brought together by an act of violence.

“Crimestoppers will still pay up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person, persons, that did this,” Barbee says.

Steven Rose’s daughter left a message on one website following the cold case asking for the murders to be solved so both families can have closure.

If you know anything about this McDonald’s double homicide, call the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office at 478-751-7500.