Authorities make arrest in 30-year-old Oklahoma cold case

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PITTSBURG COUNTY, Okla. – An arrest has been made in a Pittsburg County cold case that dates back to 1988.

30 years ago, 88-year-old Harve Rodden was hit over the head and severely beaten during a robbery at his home near McAlester.

Police tell FOX 23 Rodden had gained a bit of a reputation for carrying a large amount of cash.

“It never leaves you. Never,” said Rodden’s grandson David Enox. “I think about it now and it just tears me up, how anybody could do that to an 88-year-old man is just beyond me.”

Back in April, the case was reopened, thanks to help of a volunteer with the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office.

“I just always thought of Harve as a kind, gentle old man, and I really hated to see that someone that you know, that you grew up knowing, was treated the way he was,” said George Scott, who retired 14 years ago as the Former Assistant Chief of the McAlester Police Department, and is now a volunteer with the sheriff’s office.

A tip into the case led to the arrest of Tony Watkins earlier this week.

The family says they’re just grateful the case was reopened, and hope justice is served.

“I just hope if it is him, they get him,” Enox said.

Watkins’ bond was set at $250,000.

His preliminary hearing date has not yet been set.

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