Cusseta, GA (April 7, 2022) - On Monday, March 28, 2022, a Chattahoochee County Grand Jury indicted Marcellus McCluster, age 64, formerly of Richland, GA, for the 1982 murder of René Dawn Blackmore, then age 20, of Arizona.
Blackmore, a U.S. Army Private stationed at Fort Benning, GA, disappeared upon leaving her barracks on the way to Columbus, GA the night of April 29, 1982. Almost a month later, her wallet and sweater were found on a roadside near Cusseta, GA.
On June 28, 1982, Blackmore’s remains were discovered off a logging road a few miles further south in Chattahoochee County. She had been killed by a shotgun blast. U.S. Army CID and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) identified McCluster as a possible offender within a year, but the original investigation eventually stalled.
In late 2020, GBI Director Vic Reynolds established the agency’s Cold Case Unit composed of retired GBI investigators. Blackmore’s death was an initial focus of the unit, which worked with Army CID, the Chattahoochee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of District Attorney for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit to develop the case further. The resulting indictment of McCluster includes one count of Malice Murder and four counts of Felony Murder.
GBI agents subsequently served McCluster with an arrest warrant at a Georgia Department of Corrections facility near Augusta, GA where he is serving a life sentence for an unrelated 1983 Stewart County murder conviction. Arraignment in Chattahoochee County is scheduled for April 25, 2022.
Anyone with investigative information about the Blackmore case is urged to contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477) or online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online. Anonymous tips are accepted.
Link to news conference: https://youtu.be/lhzJ36od8Tg