Who Killed Rita Melton?

By Kevin Deutsch, Host of “A Dark Turn”

Thirty two year old Rita Melton of Gainesville, FL.

Rita Melton’s body was found nude and heavily decomposed in the woods just west of Gainesville, Fl. on Aug. 28, 1988. 

Investigators determined that Melton, 32, had been strangled after a long struggle with her killer. She was found by a citizen about a week after disappearing, police said, her clothing neatly folded near her body. A number of beer cans and cigarette butts were also left at the scene. The weather at the time was hot, humid and rainy, leaving little additional evidence for police to work with. 

Melton, whose blue and white Ford F100 pickup truck was found nearby, had been scheduled to meet with her identical twin sister Lisa the day she disappeared. She never showed up. Police said Rita’s attacker was a man she likely knew. A recent round of DNA testing was conducted on crime scene evidence, but no arrests have been made. 

Anyone with information  about the case is asked to call Detective Kevin Allen of the Alachua County Sheriff’s OfficeCold Case Squad at 352-384-3323.

Sources and Additional Reading

The Gainesville Sun

WCJB-TV

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office

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