CRENSHAW COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - In June of 2016 Earl Cosby took his final breath inside his business off Crenshaw County Road 35.
It remains the talk of Rutledge nearly two years later, starting with Mayor Steve Phillips.
"All you get really that it's an open and active investigation. Well, so is the Jimmy Hoffa disappearance," said a frustrated mayor Phillips.
And Rita Brown.
"His family can't have any closure.. his friends .. everybody loved him," said Brown, who is the town clerk for Rutledge and knew 'Mr. Earl' as he was known very well.
Brown and the mayor say there is a growing sense in this town of 450 that the case has gone cold, forgotten and largely put on the back burner.
Not so, according to Crenshaw County Sheriff Mickey Powell. In fact, two investigators, one from the sheriff's office and another from ALEA, met with the Cosby family two weeks ago and gave them an update. Cosby's widow declined to go on camera but told WSFA 12 News she felt better, remained hopeful but admitted she, too, is surprised it's taking so long.
"I feel like they were pleased with the information we gave them and the progress we're making. This is a real sensitive case," said Powell.
Powell recognizes everyone is frustrated but remains committed in search of the killer and the motive.
"We're making progress. I feel real good," Powell said.
"And the state's been trying to help them all they can but it's just one of them things. It doesn't seem like there's any progress," Phillips said.
Until then, the truth remains buried with Earl Cosby. He would have turned 80 this month.
WSFA 12 News reached out to ALEA to get its take on the status of the investigation but we never heard back from the agency. The $10,000 reward remains in place in the case.