Middle Georgia Cold Cases: The Execution in Byron
Children do it all the time — walk to school. On one September Day in 2009, a Byron Elementary School student was walking with her mom when she saw the unimaginable.
“The kid looked over there and told her mom that there was something laying over there. The mom turned around and noticed that is was a person,” Lt. Brian Davidson with the Byron Police Department said.
It was the body of Eric Rice.
As the years have gone by, Eric’s mother, Brenda Bryant, says the hurt is still the same.
“My son didn’t deserve to die like this. Regardless of whatever he did, he didn’t deserve to die like this,” she said.
She remembers vividly the day she got the news talking to her now ex-husband about what happened.
“He said it was Eric, and I said what Eric? And he said, ‘Your son,” she said.
Here’s what investigators know — Eric was shot “execution-style” on September 17 on Dunbar Road. His body was found near a small business. It rained the night before his body was discovered and the dirt and mud affected the evidence.
Davidson worked the case from the beginning. He and Bryant say Rice sold drugs and Davidson thinks his death is tied to the streets.
“This type of crime usually deals with drugs, money, and territory,” he said.
The Byron Police Department is working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, trying to find answers. Davidson admits putting clues together hasn’t been easy.
“It doesn’t matter what this man did for a living. He was human. Hopefully, somebody is going to have to stand up and pay for it,” Davidson said.
The lieutenant says at this point — everyone he’s talked to and everywhere he’s looked has been a dead end. Brenda is urging anyone who knows something to come forward as she continues to wait for justice.
“I’ve forgiven them, but the thing about it is why? You know who you are who did this, why are y’all still out there trying to run,” Bryant said.
“Stand up, be a man or a woman and don’t worry about what the consequences are,” Davidson said.
If you remember seeing anything that September night in 2009 or if you know what happened to Eric Rice, call the Byron Police Department at 956-2880.