Volusia deputies to resume DeLand well search for cold case clues

Deputies say tip about 1974 homicide led them to well

DeLAND, Fla. - The Volusia County Sheriff's Office cold case squad resumed its search of an abandoned well in the woods of Glenwood, after a tip led them to clues in a 1974 DeBary murder.

Firefighters and investigators met for a third search of the well around 9 a.m. Wednesday. Investigators say they're hoping to find evidence that will link the murder to a possible suspect. They won't elaborate on what they're looking for because they don't want to tip off the person of interest.

Last month's search was prompted by information that evidence from the death of James Aslinger may have been discarded in the 40-foot-deep well, deputies said. There was a house in front of the well at the time of Aslinger's death, but deputies never searched the well, they said.

Aslinger's body was found near his home on Benson Junction Road in DeBary in May 1974.

In May, county firefighters lowered a searcher into the well using a tripod and harness system. All that was found, however, were tires, dirt and metal.

The cold case squad has added a full-time investigator and two retired law enforcement volunteers, along with a new program using social media to generate clues for unsolved murders.

"If it were your brother you would want his murder solved. The family deserves closure to this and we got a murderer out here," said Ralph Henshaw, a volunteer investigator.

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