Detectives solve 1968 killing of World War II veteran who became milkman, Florida sheriff says

Apr 14, 2024, 9:36 AM

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — More than five decades after a World War II veteran was slain while working as a milkman in Florida, investigators say they’ve solved the case thanks to two people who came forward after the killer died.

Hiram “Ross” Grayam was delivering milk in April 1968 and failed to return home after work. Deputies later found his body and his milk truck deep in the woods in the Vero Beach area, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. He had been shot several times.

The case went cold, and no arrests were made during the next 56 years.

“Through determination and the cooperation of witnesses, new leads emerged: Thomas J. Williams, now deceased, had confessed to Grayam’s murder, his guilt echoing from beyond the grave,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Grayam, a decorated World War II veteran who received a Purple Heart, had become “a beloved milkman” after settling in Indian River County after the war, authorities said.

A witness told deputies she saw Grayam talking to two men who were walking on the side of the road, WPEC-TV reported.

“She said that Mr. Grayam engaged them in conversation, and announced that he would be back shortly,” Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers said. The two unidentified men and Grayam all left in the milk truck, he said.

Grayam’s family didn’t realize anything had happened, “except my father was a little late in coming home, and then a sheriff’s deputy, an investigator showed up,” Grayam’s son Larry, who was 16 at the time, told the TV station.

During a search of the area by ground and by air, the milk truck and Graham’s body were spotted by an airplane.

“When they arrived at the initial scene, Mr. Grayam was laying next to the milk truck with bullet wounds, killed execution style,” Flowers said.

In 2006, there were rumors that Williams might have been involved. So he wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper “saying that he had been accused of the murder, but he denied having knowledge of it, that he wasn’t involved in it,” the sheriff said.

The case went cold again, and Williams died in 2016.

With Williams now dead, detectives got huge breaks in the case during the past two years: Williams’ ex-wife and a friend of his sister came forward, telling investigators what they knew, the Florida TV station reported.

Flowers said that the witnesses — neither of whom know each other — told investigators that Williams had previously confessed to them that he had killed Grayam.

“These folks said, ‘I would have never said anything to you before, as long as he was alive, he was a threat to me and my family, we would have never told you,’ but the fact that he is now dead gave them the courage to come forward,” Flowers said.

Now, detectives are hoping that anyone who knows about the second man seen with Grayam before he was killed will contact them.

United States News


Associated Press

Nissan warns owners of older vehicles about risk of exploding air bag inflators

Nissan is urging the owners of about 84,000 older vehicles to stop driving them because their Takata air bag inflators have an increased risk of exploding in a crash and hurling dangerous metal fragments.

25 seconds ago

Associated Press

Seattle police chief dismissed from top job amid discrimination, harassment lawsuits

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle’s embattled police chief has been dismissed, Mayor Bruce Harrel said Wednesday. Harrell said at a news conference that he met with Police Chief Adrian Diaz on Tuesday and they agreed Diaz should step down. He will work on special assignments for the mayor with the police department, Harrell said. Diaz’s departure […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Disneyland performers’ vote to unionize is certified by federal labor officials

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Character and parade performers at Disneyland in California are officially unionized. Federal labor officials said Wednesday that they’ve certified the results of a three-day election that took place earlier this month in Anaheim. Actors’ Equity Association will represent roughly 1,700 performers and assistants who help bring Disney’s popular characters to life […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Massachusetts fugitive dubbed the ‘bad breath rapist’ captured in California after 16 years at large

DANVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A fugitive dubbed the “bad breath rapist” has been arrested in the San Francisco Bay Area more than 16 years after he fled following his conviction for sexually assaulting a coworker in Massachusetts, authorities said this week. Tuen Kit Lee was found guilty at a 2007 trial of the kidnapping and […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

West Virginia’s first ombudsman for state’s heavily burdened foster care system resigns

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The first ombudsman of West Virginia’s heavily burdened foster care system has resigned. Pamela Woodman-Kaehler’s resignation will take effect June 6, the state Department of Health announced in a statement. Woodman-Kaehler said she was “choosing to pursue a new opportunity,” but did not provide more details. Woodman-Kaehler said the ombudsman’s program […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Ohio man gets probation after pleading guilty to threatening North Caroilna legislator

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An Ohio man received supervised probation after pleading guilty to threatening to kill a North Carolina state senator in a social media message last year. Nicolas Alan Daniels, of West Portsmouth, Ohio, entered a plea to one felony count of threatening a legislative officer last Thursday in Wake County court, according […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.



Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Detectives solve 1968 killing of World War II veteran who became milkman, Florida sheriff says