August 29, 1908
Governor Joseph W. Folk yesterday offered a reward of $200 for the arrest and conviction of Ira Earl Hamilton, the deserter from the United States army, who is believed to have killed George W. Pickle in a swampy place near the mouth of the Blue river on June 20. The reward stands good for one year from the date.
On June 20, Pickle, who was only 17 years old, left his home at 1429 Summit street with Hamilton, 28 years old, ostensibly in a search of work. Five days later a body was found in the underbrush near the mouth of the Blue. Hamilton, who at that time was not suspected, was sent a few days later to see if he could identify the body. He reported that it was the body of a negro, 35 years old.
At the point where the body lay had been several feet of backwater during the flood. Trees and brush grew thick and neither the body nor the clothing could have floated away. Near there detectives found a piece of gas pipe about one foot long. It had been cut with a machine which crushed the ends together. The pipe was yesterday identified by a woman who lives at the home of Hamilton's aunt. She said she had often seen it among his tools. He is a constructural iron worker.
Hamilton was arrested shortly after the boy disappeared, but at that time Pickle's body had not been found. Hamilton was turned over to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth to serve time as a deserter. He succeeded in making his escape from there in less than a month. Prosecutor I. B. Kimbrell says he has a strong case against Hamilton.