HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — Hernando County detectives are seeking information in a 1981 homicide cold case.

  • Ricky Merrill and Dori Colyer found dead inside burning car
  • Homicide occurred on May 9, 1981 near the Hilltop Lounge in Brooksville
  • Contact Detective George Loydgren at 352-754-6830

Two people were found inside a burning car on May 9 in 1981 after leaving the Hilltop Lounge on Broad Street in Brooksville.

According to detectives, Ricky Merrill and Dori Colyer told friends they would return to the lounge shortly but never came back. 

Around 2:30 a.m. the next morning, firefighters were called to a "brush fire" in the 300 block of Stafford Avenue in Brooksville, about a mile from the Hilltop Lounge, where they found a vehicle on fire. 

Crews discovered two bodies inside the vehicle, identified as Merrill and Colyer. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective George Loydgren at 352-754-6830. 

Ricky Merrill and Dori Colyer were last seen alive on May 9, 1981. (Hernando County Sheriff's Office)