Killing of pensioner at motel remains unsolved after 25 years

By CHRISTOPHER CANN, Democrat of Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — When Robert Hansen’s father passed away, it was his uncle, Albert Seaburg, who stepped in as a father figure to him and his four siblings.

“He took us to Disneyland and other trips to Colorado to make us forget what happened,” Hansen told the Democrat. “He was our father figure.”

Seaburg, a World War II veteran who, as a leading engineer, played a key role in the design of Illinois’ first nuclear reactor, never had children and lived most part of his life in West Chicago, where he cared for his sister’s orphaned children.

“Uncle Al, he would always be wise,” Hansen said. “And even though he was a big hit, he was so down to earth.”

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On September 4, 1997, Seaburg drove from Chicago to Tallahassee to settle his aunt’s estate.

He booked a night at the Best Inn motel on North Monroe Street around 9 p.m.

Within hours, the 71-year-old was found with two fatal gunshot wounds in what investigators ruled a failed robbery.

According to the Tallahassee Democratic Records, two suspects, described by witnesses as blond mid-20s with shoulder-length hair, were seen “locking up” the motel throughout the day. They drove off in a mid-’80s white Honda Accord with Mississippi tags.

Shortly after the shooting, composite sketches of the suspects were compiled from witness accounts.

However, in the 25 years since Seaburg’s murder, the case has cooled. No arrests have been made and there are no new leads.

However, the LCSO has hired a part-time detective dedicated to cases like this.

“While we currently have no updates to report on Mr. Seaburg’s case, this is a first step in seeking justice for his murder and for other families impacted by these crimes not resolved,” LCSO spokeswoman Angela Green said.

“We hope there is someone out there who has information about what happened that day. With the support of the community, we hope new information will come to light that will help us with the investigation.

She added that anonymous tipsters who call 850-606-3300 may be eligible for cash rewards of $500 to $5,000 if their information leads to a cold case-related arrest.

Hansen created unsolvedmurder.com in 1999 to draw attention to the case in hopes of stirring something up, but nothing came of it.

“We go on with our daily lives and we don’t get really emotional about it until we talk about it, like I am now,” Hansen, 62, said in tears Thursday. “My mother, Ruth Hansen – her only brother – died in 2009, unfortunately, before the case was resolved.”

On the day his uncle died, Hansen, who was 36, was at work at the post office when he received a call from an Elmhurst policeman, who relayed what he had just said. hear from an LCSO deputy.

“The postmaster came to get me,” Hansen said. “I was told and I collapsed on the floor and screamed because it was so hard to believe.”

Hansen mailed at least two thousand wanted posters to convenience stores and police stations in addition to contacting politicians who said they would try to draw attention to it.

He said he still emails the LCSO from time to time, hoping for a chance confession or discovery through DNA analysis.

“Now it’s just waiting and hoping after so many years,” he said. “I still have hope.”

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