‘Cold Justice’ team brings closure to victim’s family post-production

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Earl Joiner. (Credit: Polk County Sheriff's Office.)
Earl Joiner. (Credit: Polk County Sheriff’s Office.)

Fort Myers Police Dpt. held a news conference Tuesday on the arrest of Earl Joiner for the 2016 homicide of Heyzel Obando.

Does it take a TV show to catch a killer?

That is what we are asking your city leaders after investigators arrested a suspect in a three-year cold case. Police arrested Earl Joiner days after Oxygen’s “Cold Justice” TV crew dug into the murder of his girlfriend, Heyzel Obando.

Obando was murdered in her Fort Myers apartment in February 2016. Saturday, her live-in boyfriend, Joiner, was arrested. The man known as Tony, who was a former Gators’ captain, was taken away in handcuffs at the Dyer Chevrolet on Highway 27 in Lake Wells.

The arrest comes days after a television show production team came into town to film a segment about the case. The city council approved Oxygen’s “Cold Justice” helping to solve the murder last month.

“This cold case organization entity, they do this everywhere, they have a specific skill set,” said Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson. “The fact they would come here and help us. I think the council views as an added opportunity to bring closure to these cases.”

But with many homicide cases still unsolved, the episode raises an important question if it was all staged.

“If it is and we’re catching them and we’re bringing it to closure for the family, so be it,” Henderson said. “That’s a speculation. What I’d rather focus on is getting the job done.”

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