These are Project: Cold Case posters for step-brothers John Franklin Ragin Jr. , left, and Eric Dwayne Stubbs. They were found dead in a home in 2011. | Project Cold CaseThese are Project: Cold Case posters for step-brothers John Franklin Ragin Jr. , left, and Eric Dwayne Stubbs. They were found dead in a home in 2011. | Project Cold Case
These are Project: Cold Case posters for step-brothers John Franklin Ragin Jr. , left, and Eric Dwayne Stubbs. They were found dead in a home in 2011. | Project Cold Case

Investigation into stepbrothers’ murders revived after 12 years

Published on February 15, 2024 at 3:19 pm

The police report dated June 29, 2011, does not say much — officers “dispatched to 5443 Bristol Bay Court in reference to a shooting.”

Two victims are listed, but no names, ages or anything else on the initial report of what happened in the house in the Ortega Bluff neighborhood in Westside Jacksonville.

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But as the investigation kicked in, the victims were identified as stepbrothers John Franklin Ragin Jr., 33, and Eric Dwayne Stubbs, 36. Then nothing came of the case and it went cold a few years later.

Now Detective Travis Oliver Sr. says the Sheriff’s Office’s Cold Case Division is reopening the case due to requests from two people who are very close to it.

“We had a family member nudging,” Oliver said. “And we also had a detective who is leaving the unit and said, ‘Hey, I need you to look into this one for me. I need you to take over with this family.'”

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Ragin’s single-story brick home was near a cul-de-sac. Stubbs did not live there but apparently was visiting his stepbrother when they were killed, police said.

No one in the neighborhood off Ortega Bluff Parkway heard any gunshots. A nephew of the stepbrothers found their bodies just after midnight that day, after neither could be reached by phone, police said.

With no sign of forced entry, only evidence at the scene would be able to help track a suspect. So new forensic technology is being used on evidence. Although someone was questioned after the bodies were found, “we just need something driving us toward an arrest,” Oliver said.

“Almost anything taken out of the house, we can process. We can rerun the shell casings through the system, just about anything we discovered in the house, and see if anything is now entered in databases,” he said. “We are just hoping to find that witness who can come forward, that evidence that could tie this suspect into the residence.”

A separate cold case, publicized last month on the Sheriff’s Office website, is moving forward, Oliver said. It’s the triple murder of Quasean Trotter, 20, Ariyan Johnson, 19, and their 10-month-old daughter, Arielle.

Trotter and Johnson had been shot to death Dec. 12, 2017. Arielle died of smoke inhalation after someone set fire to their Christmas tree, and the house on India Avenue in Woodland Acres was filled with smoke, investigators said.

The Sheriff’s Office also released a video that shows evidence from the 2017 crime scene in hopes of getting more leads. One scene showed the disturbing outline of the toddler’s body in the soot on the floor.

Anyone with information on either murder case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (904) 630-0500 or by email at JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, call First Coast Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-8477 (TIPS). 

Lead image: These are Project: Cold Case posters for step-brothers John Franklin Ragin Jr. , left, and Eric Dwayne Stubbs. They were found dead in a home in 2011. | Project Cold Case


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 email Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.

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