The Striker Winery was not only a business passion for Patty Striker, it was her home.
“She was a really friendly person,” said her brother Jeff Moses. “The type of friend you'd want to have - outgoing, and life of the party.”
The winery has been long out of business, ever since April 10, 2000, when a co-worker found the McMinn County woman fatally shot inside.
She was just 35, with four children at home.
“I was stunned, I really didn't believe it,” said Patty Striker's youngest brother Mark Moses.
Early on, a missing cash register suggested a robbery, but things didn't add up. Sheriff Joe Guy, who was then a deputy, was called to the scene.
“The waters muddied very quickly,” said Guy. “We have very few robberies here, we certainly have no robberies that wind up in a homicide, and that raised red flags for pretty much everybody who was there.”
Suspicions turned to Patty's husband, Stan.
“Because of the type of person he was,” explained Jeff Moses. “And threats he made before she was killed.”
“Patty and her husband were going through a very difficult divorce, he had everything to gain by her death.”
But Stan Striker had a solid alibi.
“He was at work that morning,” said Investigator Calvin Rockholt. “There was even video footage pulled of him at his place of employment. He could have not been the shooter, but he could have helped set it up."
Billboards covered the town and rewards were offered, but still the case couldn’t move forward.
"Sometimes after a while you run into a wall,” said Guy.
Fast forward to February 2014, when tragedy hit the winery again.
“Mr. Striker takes the now teenage children out to the property under the pretense of doing some cleaning up," explained Rockholt. “He takes out a handgun and shoots both children.”
Both the boy and girl were able to run away to safety and survived.
“When they got away from him, he went back to his automobile and committed suicide,” said Rockholt.
“It made us suspicious to what extent of a role he played in his wife's death, but there was no smoking gun, no confessions letter we could wrap it up with,” said Guy.
Rockholt is part of a new cold case task force created to crack unsolved crimes in Polk, Bradley, Monroe and McMinn counties. Patty Striker's case tops his list.
“We cannot allow a murderer to be on the streets, time will not be your friend, we will continue to look for you,” said Rockholt.
His team is working closely with local law enforcement to reanalyze evidence and chase down each and every lead.
“As time goes on we believe people will change their mind and come forward," said Rockholt.
As the years passed, Patty’s children have grown and lead normal lives.
“Those kids are doing real well, they have adjusted well, they have moved on and are just going on with life,” said Jeff Moses.
Patty’s parents died without seeing resolution.
“It worked on them very hard, and you could see it, the physical effects of it on them,” said Mark Moses.
Patty’s brothers believe the new task force is their last chance.
“I have faith in him that he [Rockholt] can solve this. He told me himself that this is solvable,” said Jeff Moses.
It's been 17 years without an arrest, and it's time for that to change.
“We need to know the whole story, we need to know what happened and why it happened,” said Jeff Moses.
“Every one of us needs that chapter in our life to be closed,” said Mark Moses.
Law enforcement were able to pinpoint a timeline between 8:30 and 9:15 a.m. that Patty Striker was killed at the Striker Winery in Athens.
That day was April 10, 2000.
If you have any information about this case you can reach the cold case task force at 844-878-9580.