Suspect arrested for 1976 murder

Becky Doisy, 23, was murdered in 1976.

An arrest has been made in a 33-year-old Columbia murder case.

Authorities in Georgia arrested Johnny Wright, 65, for the 1976 murder of Columbia waitress Becky Doisy.

Police arrested Wright last week after he asked Lawrenceville, Georgia police to run a background check on him to help him find a job. Wright didn TMt realize a 1985 warrant for his arrest was in the FBI TMs database for the 1976 murder of Columbia waitress Becky Doisy. Former Boone County Prosecutor Joe Moseley issued Wright TMs 1985 arrest warrant after his former roommate told police he saw Doisy TMs dead body in Wright TMs car and heard Wright say he had offed Doisy.

I was surprised there had been an arrest," Moseley said. "At the time we filed charges in 1985, some thought that Johnny Wright might be dead at that time. He hadn TMt been seen in a number of years. He was involved in a number of high risk activities when he was last spotted and he traveled in fairly rough circles. So, there was some that thought that this might be an exercise in futility.

The case ended up being an exercise in patience. Becky Doisy was 23-years-old at the time of her disappearance while she was a waitress at Ernie TMs Caf and Steak House in Columbia.

Today, none of the employees at Ernie TMs Caf and Steak House ever worked with Becky Doisy. However, Becky TMs memory has been hanging on the wall of the old restaurant for more than 30 years.

A poster by Chester Gould, the creator of comic book detective Dick Tracy, hangs over the counter and endorses Ernie TMs hamburgers. A reproduction of the poster in a smaller sketch by Gould asks the question, who killed Becky Doisy? Jamie Bedford has been a waitress at Ernie TMs for 5 years and says that unanswered question is a dark part of Ernie TMs 75 year history.

Well, I think it TMs good to solve the puzzle," Bedford said. "Everybody has been wondering. It TMs been a mystery around here for a long time.

In 1976, co-workers told police that Doisy and Wright went out on date. Witnesses last saw Doisy alive when the two were drinking alcohol at Columbia TMs Heidelberg Restaurant. Today, investigators are searching for old witnesses to help with their new case against Wright.

We definitely have a list of people that we will contact," Columbia police officer Jessie Haden said. "We TMve got them identified already. Making contact with them is the next step and figuring out if they are still in the area or not.

Wright faces a second degree murder charge. Investigators have no body and no DNA samples to help them with their case, if and when, Wright goes to trial. Wright is awaiting extradition to Columbia while in Georgia on a $100,000 bond.

Former Columbia police investigator Chris Egbert worked on this case for 9 years before an arrest warrant was issued for Johnny Wright in 1985.

KRCG News left a message on the retired police officer TMs answering machine at his Columbia home.

Egbert did not return our call.