It’s been nearly two years since Jerry Lynn “Pete” McCarroll, 71, was found beaten and shot to death in Morgan County.
“He didn’t deserve what he got,” his son Christopher Shane McCarroll said.
No one witnessed the killing and the murder weapon was never found. Though time has passed, there are few answers as to what happened and why someone would take his life.
“A couple years before this happened, he battled throat cancer,” Shane McCarroll said. “You don’t have many survivors from cancer. He fought hard and wanted to give up… and he beat that. And he lived a healthy life. He worked, he played golf, he had a normal life. He didn’t deserve it.”
Pete McCarroll arrived at work on April 18, 2016, at Allied Metal Recovery and Refining, a metal processing plant he helped operate. It was early in the morning and he was the first one there. Investigators believe he was robbed shortly after getting out of his truck. His wallet was missing.
It appeared he had put up a struggle and was badly beaten, before being shot to death in the head.
“There were no witnesses and the area it was in was off the road a ways,” Morgan County Sheriff Glen Freytag said. “If you don’t have a witness or have someone willing to come forward with any information, it really makes it hard to do anything with it.”
Pete McCaroll was a father, a grandfather, a husband and a loyal friend.
“He was a good man,” Shane McCarroll said.
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Pete McCarroll’s family describes him as a giver, always lending a helping hand to someone in need. He was also a Vietnam War veteran, a cancer survivor, and a role model to all who knew him.
“I didn’t tell him I loved him enough,” Nicholas Chad McCarroll said, fighting back tears. “I guess I would share more of myself with him and tell him how much I appreciate him. It would have been tough to lose him to cancer, but I could have accepted that. [It would be] better than this.”
It’s a weight his sons carry around with them every day, having to cope with not only the pain of losing their dad so violently, but also the torture of not having closure in his murder.
“It makes me sad every day that I don’t hear anything,” Nicholas McCarroll said. “It makes me angry. I don’t know if I’m more sad or angry. I just want more communication.”
The brothers have been actively seeking updates in their father’s case, getting little information from investigators.
“It’s very frustrating,” Shane McCarroll said. “I want to know that they’re still working the case. I don’t want them just telling me they’re not going to give up. I want to see action.”
Sheriff Freytag said they have not thrown in the towel and continue to work with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to find the person responsible.
“We really hate that it happened and we’re really determined to have closure to this case,” Freytag said.
Until that happens, the McCarroll brothers are still holding out hope that investigators will track down who did this and make them pay for the life they stole.
“We have to be the voice for him,” Shane McCarroll said. “People that loved him still want justice for my dad. Now and years from now, he will never be forgotten.”
Investigators are asking for the public’s help in their continued search for answers. If you have any information that could lead to an arrest in Pete McCarroll’s death, you are urged to contact the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office at 423-346-6262.
A $10,000 reward is being offered and you may remain anonymous.