COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Columbus Police Department is asking the public for information pertaining to a local minister’s murder that has went unsolved since 1960.

According to Columbus Police, Julian May’s body was found near Debby Street on Saturday, Nov. 26, 1960. At the time of May’s death, he was an ordained minister in Opelika, Alabama.

The Ledger-Enquirer reported that May was stabbed nearly 30 times, with a butcher knife being found at the scene. When May’s body was sent off for an autopsy, it confirmed a gruesome reality — the minister was murdered, his body left in a wooded area.

Minister Julian May

Reporters with the Ledger-Enquirer also state that May had been dead for around 12 hours, and that his body was clearly visible from the street.

Although this case has been cold for 62 years, officials have learned something new about Julian May, and that is his whereabouts the night before he died.

Opelika Lake House

A press release says that the night before May’s death, he could be found at a lake house off Frederick Road in Opelika, Alabama.

At this lake house was another individual — Johnny Garner, who was 18 to 19 years of age at the time.

Johnny Garner, 17 to 19 years old (Photograph taken around 1960)

Investigators note that Garner is not a suspect in this case, but that they wish to speak with him regarding Julian’s activities the night before he was murdered.

Although the Ledger-Enquirer states that May has little family left, he does have nephews who have stayed curious about the case.

Their mother and grandparents rarely acknowledged the homicide, he [ May’s younger nephew ] said: “It’s pretty personal for our family… They were all devastated.” But the nephews remained curious: “My brother and I have always talked about it.”

May’s nephews via The Ledger-Enquirer

Anyone with information on May’s death or Garner’s whereabouts is encouraged to call Detective Stuart Carter at 706-225-4319 or email at