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Press Release

$24,000 Reward Offered in Hardeman County Cold Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

Memphis, TN – Representatives from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the 25th Judicial District Attorney General and the Hardeman County Sheriff today announced a $24,000 reward, in a renewed effort to gain additional information about a 1998 unsolved murder in Hardeman County.

Twenty-one-years ago, TBI Special Agents joined the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the July 23, 1998 murder of Michael Bell, a clerk at McKee’s Stateline Convenience Store, located on Highway 125 S between Middleton, Tennessee, and Walnut, Mississippi. At that time, the investigation revealed that an unknown individual shot and killed the clerk, then left the store in a 1990’s General Motors model sedan, and drove toward Walnut, Mississippi. Information gathered during the investigation indicated that robbery did not appear to have been the motive of the shooting of Michael Bell, but he was instead the target of a coordinated murder.

The Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), TBI, 25th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office and the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office continue to aggressively investigate this 1998 murder. The partnership has resulted in new leads being developed in this case.

Based upon the new information, U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant, 25th Judicial District Attorney General Mark Davidson and FBI Special Agent in Charge M.A. Myers, will again announce today the availability of the $24,000 reward. Investigators are confident there are people in the community who can provide information that will assist in bringing this investigation to a conclusion. This reward is for information that directly assists law enforcement in the arrest and conviction of the person and/or persons responsible for the death of Michael Bell.

Anyone with information about the July 23, 1998 murder of Michael Bell at the McKee’s Stateline Convenience Store in Hardeman County should call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Photos enhanced in the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia, May 2018.

Picture 1


Picture 2


Michael Bell

Michael Bell - Victim


Cherri Green
Public Information Officer

Updated February 28, 2019