published Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Police release letter, hope for clues in Georgia cold case

NORCROSS, Ga. — Police outside Atlanta are hoping a letter, written with cut-out letters from magazines, could help them finally get the break they need in a 2008 slaying that went cold.

Police released the letter and photos this week in hopes of generating leads in the killing of former model Eva Kay Wenal. She was stabbed in the neck, and her body was found in the kitchen of the Gwinnett County home she shared with her husband Harold “Hal” Wenal, a prominent real estate developer.

“We absolutely think it was constructed by whoever did kill her,” Gwinnett County police Det. John Richter told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The letter was mailed to the Journal-Constitution’s Norcross office in the months after Wenal was found dead, and the newspaper turned it over to police after receiving it. Investigators believe Kay Wenal’s killer was someone she knew well, and the letter is written as though it’s from a scorned lover.

The investigation has new life in the form of two seasoned homicide detectives who are re-examining old clues and shedding light on newer ones. They include photographs of an associate of the Wenals -- a man whom police have not been able to identify, The Gwinnett Daily Post reported.

There were no signs of forced entry into the home, and no valuables, including Kay Wenal’s jewelry, were missing, authorities said.

A neighbor of the Wenals told police that he’d seen a man at the home the day Kay was killed and a few days before she died.

Three weeks after his wife’s death, Hal Wenal was cleared by police as a suspect. He offered a $100,000 reward from his own money, a reward that would later be increased to $250,000.

In June 2010, Hal Wemal was having dinner with a client when he suffered a massive heart attack and died at age 75.

In a small cemetery near Lake Lanier, the Wenals share a plot, their names etched into a black marble headstone beside two urns that brim with roses, The Daily Post reported.

At the edge of the plot is Hal’s former thinking place, a marble bench.

The bench is inscribed with a message from Hal to his wife: “Eva Kay Wenal: My wife, my life, my world.”

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