Man charged in murder of wife, a quarter century after her death
Benjamin Reapp claims that kidnappers killed his wife, dumping her body in this canal off Satellite Road in Cocoa.
VIERA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
Confined to a wheelchair, 87-year-old Benjamin Reapp was rolled in front of a judge on Wednesday to determine whether or not the octogenarian, who is accused of first-degree murder, should be allowed out of jail while his case goes forward.
The preliminary hearing was for a crime allegedly committed 26 years ago, along a canal off Satellite Road in west Cocoa. Investigators with the Brevard County Sheriff's office said Reapp, who was 61 at the time, claimed he and his wife Wanda were kidnapped and brought to a remote area. He told police the kidnappers killed his wife and dumped her body in the canal. He said he was left to walk back to a nearby store where he called police.
A sheriff's investigator, who reopened the cold case three years ago, said there were numerous problems with Reapp's story.
For one, there were no footprints leading out of the area where the crime is alleged to have occurred, and in a recent interview, his said Reapp's story had flaws in his timeline and his story did not match the physical evidence found at the scene.
Investigators have also looked at insurance records and discovered Reapp took a life insurance policy out on his wife shortly before she was killed. They now believe Reapp murdered his wife for financial gain.