Cold Case FIles: Brian Sweat
Contrary to what some might think, killers don't always target strangers. In fact. 15 percent of all murder victims are married or related to the killer. Only 14 percent of the murders are committed by a stranger.
This is Cold Case Files:
A Gainesville man died at the hands of a stranger, leaving many unanswered questions. On June 27, 2005, 40 Year old Brian Sweat calls for help after he is attacked in his front yard in broad daylight.
Brian Sweat entered the world on May 11, 1965. He was born premature, but quickly became a healthy and happy baby. As the eldest of four children, Brian's sister, Brenda Sigmon, felt responsibility for her little brother. As a young man, Brian's love of computers would become a career. His job as a computer programmer would take him to several cities.
But in 2004, he returned home to care for his mother who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months to live.
On a hot June day, Brian was fatally stabbed in his own yard. He was able to call 9-1-1.
When Gainesville police officers arrived, seven minutes after the call came in, they found a portable phone in the yard and Brian laying in the doorway with a second phone still in his hand.
Gainesville Police Detective Mike Schentrup says Brian was only wearing a pair of shorts.
The attacker left him with several slashes in the chest area, two defense wounds to the hand, and two direct stabs... one of which hit an artery.
Despite emergency care, Brian passed away at 3:45.
Gainesville police began a search but did not find the knife.
Detectives were under a time crunch trying to gather evidence because of a coming thunderstorm.
The search for fingerprints around the door, windows and gate came up empty.
And, neighbors had little to offer to investigators.
Why would a stranger attack a man who was known to have a kind spirit, kept to himself and spent his afternoons walking his dogs.
Detectives and Brian's sister both believe a prized red Spyder sports car may have been what the attacker really wanted.
Detectives questioned seasonal workers who were staying at a motel adjacent to Brian's back yard. But no one remembers seeing a man in a long sleeved shirt leave the area.
With little forensic evidence and no witness, the murder investigation soon grew cold. Fewer than 4 years later, the case remains the same.
For Brian's sister, Brenda, nothing will ever be the same.
If you know anything about this Cold Case File, you are asked to call the Gainesville Police Department at: 334.2471 or Crimestoppers.
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