She was a good athlete and liked to play tennis at the neighborhood swim/tennis club. He had a great sense of humor and both were described by neighbors as very nice, church-going people; until their double murder on July 1, 2010. Roger and Dorothy Abbott died in the Village Mill home where they had lived for more than 35 years. Police reported the house was set on fire to destroy evidence.
The crime remains unsolved seven years later, but the investigation is ongoing, according to Detective Blake Yeargin of the Dunwoody Police Department. Yeargin has been on the case for about three years and said he reviews the case monthly and is in contact with family members.
It was a Thursday morning on July 1, 2010, when police were called to the scene of a fire at the home on Peeler Road. The fire was first discovered by landscapers working at a nearby yard. The Abbotts’ cars were still parked in their garage. After firefighters extinguished the flames, their bodies were discovered.
According to a YouTube video produced by the DPD one year after the crime, nothing appeared to be taken from the residence, the Abbotts’ credit cards were not used and there was no forced entry. This evidence, said police, suggested that the Abbotts may have known the perpetrator.
The crime left neighbors in shock.
“This was very upsetting to us,” said one. “We couldn’t come up with a reason why anybody would want to harm them. They were good neighbors.”
One said neighbors gathered nearby and watched the house burn down.
“The hard part was not knowing if they were in the house,” said one.
Another neighbor, Graham Andoe, said the Abbots were some of the finest neighbors you would want and said their son, Steve, sometimes took care of his family’s animals.
Steve, the Abbotts youngest child, is mentally challenged and was away at a camp at the time of the homicides. One neighbor said the Abbotts’ lives revolved around Steve.
“They did not do a whole lot socially because of Stevie,” said one. “Roger would come to ROMEO meetings (a social group) once a month.”
George Baker, also a ROMEO member when Roger was a member, said the group is still operational and often invites guest speakers. At times, the speaker was Police Chief Billy Grogan. The first question the group asks of the chief is “What’s new with the Abbotts’ case,” Baker said.
The police can give few details because of the ongoing investigation.
Within a week after the crime, police set up a roadblock on Peeler Road and one witness remembered seeing a man in the Abbotts’ yard. Police released a sketch of the man.
The Abbotts had four children. One daughter, Susan Wofford and her husband, James, have encountered legal troubles. Both pleaded guilty of elder exploitation of Dorothy’s sister, Grace, in October, 2016. The pair were given probation: 20 years for Susan and 10 for James.
Prior to moving to Dunwoody after her parents’ deaths, the Woffords lived in Sewanee, Tenn., where they owned a popular restaurant. The restaurant was rebuilt after it burned. According to a story in the Nashville Scene, the restaurant reopened in 2012 “after four years of looking for a new owner after the latest in a series of fires shut down the place in 2008.”
A spokesperson for the Sewanee Police Department confirmed the Woffords owned the restaurant when it burned.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact Detective Yeargin at 678-382-6916 or William.email@example.com.