Getting Warmer: A Shot in the Dark

Getting Warmer

Four years later, no progress in double murder investigation

This is Episode 2 of Getting Warmer: Heating up Alabama’s Cold Cases, a four-part series only on CBS42.com.

TALLADEGA COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Four years since a man and his stepson were shot and killed in Talladega County, their grieving loved ones say justice is still no closer to being served.

Investigators with the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) say that’s because the motive behind the murders remains elusive.

Victims John Lowe and his stepson Ryan King are remembered as family men who enjoyed simple lifestyles.

Ryan King (left) and his stepfather John Lowe (right)

“There was no reason for anybody to do this to them,” says Tina Lowe, the victims’ wife and mother.

It was a few days after Thanksgiving in 2015, and Ryan King was visiting his mother and stepfather at their home in the Alpine community. Tina recalls it being a normal visit with her son and husband, who were spending time together outdoors.

Tina says she heard a stranger walk up and ask for directions to a nearby street. Then, she heard gunshots.

I called 911…and I was crying and screaming, and they made me stay on the phone, and I said, ‘Look, I think they’ve been shot, and I said my son is not getting up…he’s going to die.


Tina lowe, victims’ wife & mother

Despite arriving on the scene quickly, Sergeant Brett Miller says he could not find any witnesses.

Another setback for investigators, the sole account of the crime came from Tina.

“Mr. King worked at Honda. He was just there visiting his mom and stepdad. Mr. Lowe had his own company where he removed trees, brush, landscape cleaning…not exactly the sort of business where you run into criminal elements,” says Captain Mike Jones. “So, it’s really hard to say what a motive would’ve been.”

Based on speculation and rumors, the various tips the TCSO has received are unsubstantiated, Capt. Mike Jones explains.

However, investigators are fairly certain of at least one variable. A family friend who had visited the Lowes that evening confirmed the presence of a person walking on the road. In fact, he said he had nearly run over the pedestrian while backing out of the Lowes’ driveway. But it was dark, and he didn’t get a good enough view for a suspect description.

According to Capt. Jones, it’s highly unlikely that a random person would walk up and shoot two men. Perhaps, it wasn’t a stranger after all.

Part of being able to get a break in this case is going to be establishing a motive.

Captain mike jones, tAlladega county sheriff’s office

Unfortunately for investigators, family and friends have been unable to help generate leads.

“Neither one of them caused problems, neither one of them had any drama in their lives, neither one of them would have had any reason for anyone to contemplate hurting them, much less this,” says Tina, distraught.

Investigators believe someone knows the answers to the questions haunting the victims’ family about what happened on November 30, 2015.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Talladega County Sheriff’s Office at 256-362-2748 or leave an anonymous tip on their website TalladegaSheriff.com. Tips may also be directed to Crime Stoppers at 256-238-1414 or the Alabama Attorney General’s cold case hotline at 866-419-1236. 


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