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August 3, 2004 11:00 am

Brandon Haught
Public Information Office

SHERIFF’S OFFICE HONORS EMPLOYEES OF THE QUARTER 

In virtually all unexplained disappearances, the lack of closure is absolute torment for the victim’s family as well as dedicated police investigators working tirelessly to solve the mystery. And such were the circumstances surrounding the May 2001 disappearance of 10-year-old Joshua Bryant of Deltona and his 77-year-old grandmother, Lillian Martin - that was, until Volusia County Sheriff’s investigator Greg Seymour took over the case.

Due to his dogged determination, Seymour combed through thousands of leads prompted by reports of the suspect’s white van that ultimately led to a wooded site in Cassadaga where Josh’s skeletal remains were recovered in June. That same dogged determination earned Seymour professional recognition Tuesday as the Sheriff’s Office’s Investigator of the Quarter.

Also earning recognition Tuesday as the department’s other top employees for the 2nd quarter of the year were Sergeant Cliff Williams, warrants administrative coordinator Jim Whitaker and volunteer Steve Leitz.

“Greg is one of the finest investigators I’ve ever known,” Sheriff Ben Johnson said Tuesday morning as he presented Seymour with a special plaque marking the honor. “He was able to put pieces together in this case that four years ago meant nothing. He is absolutely tenacious.”

Added Seymour’s supervisor, Sergeant Bob Kelley: “What investigators could only speculate before, Investigator Seymour proved -- that Lillian Martin and Joshua Bryant were victims of homicide. The case continues with the search for Lillian Martin’s body. However, the mystery of the disappearance has been solved.”

Sergeant Williams, the Deputy of the Quarter, was honored for his 14 years of service to the Sheriff’s Honor Guard Unit and his efforts to coordinate the annual Volusia County Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony. While a well-respected road patrol supervisor, Williams’ accomplishments on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office while off-duty also earned him a positive reputation that is tough to match. Drawing upon experience from time spent in the Marine Corps, Williams established procedures for the Honor Guard’s In The Line of Duty Death Ceremony and spends considerable time planning and scheduling events. He also helped orchestrate the May 2004 Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony, demonstrating his professionalism and attention to detail. Williams constantly strives for excellence as he promotes a positive perception of law enforcement to the public.

“Thank you for all that you do,” Sheriff Johnson told Williams. You’ve done a great job and you have made us proud.”

Named Civilian Employee of the Quarter, warrants administrative coordinator Jim Whitaker was praised for his selfless work during the relocation of the warrants section while working within strict time constraints. Realizing that the task of relocating would be very difficult, Whitaker devoted his own time to making sure the move was done as seamlessly as possible despite the fact that the warrants section has to stay fully operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He hefted about 100 boxes from one floor to another; took apart, moved upstairs and reassembled several desks; and rewired phones. Several computers also had to be relocated, but it was imperative that no one computer could be off-line for more than 10 minutes. Whitaker’s computer know-how and planning was able to beat the clock, though, for every move.

“Not only did he possess all the knowledge and skills, he devoted his own time to accomplish this,” said his immediate supervisor, Lieutenant Linda Nasser-Edwards in a memo nominating Whitaker for the award.

Selected as the Volunteer of the Quarter, Steve Leitz was congratulated for his motivation and energy on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office Citizen Observer Program. He has volunteered in many areas of the C.O.P. program, including patrol, vehicle maintenance, base operator, traffic control and fingerprinting. Never letting up in his devotion, Leitz also recently attended a class about child safety seats. He was elected the vice president of the C.O.P. organization and has been very active in recruiting new members.

“Steve is always there for us,” said Sheriff Johnson. “As a department, we couldn’t do all of the things that we do without our volunteers.”

Volusia County Sheriff's Office

Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352

Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151

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