JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Among the items released last week in the murder case against Ronnie Hyde is Walter David Barry’s audio recollection of a grisly discovery.
Barry owned the Columbia County BP Gas Station when the naked, butchered torso of 16-year-old Fred Laster was found behind a dumpster.
In the recording, Barry recalls working on a woman’s car on the morning of June 5, 1994, while she walked her dog in the field near the station. A few moments later, he said, she came back.
“The dog picked up on the scent," Barry recalled. "She came back in thinking it was a mannequin or something. I just thought she was crazy, so I decided I would go look ... And as I got closer, I could see the stains down the front of the dumpster."
Initially, he said he thought it was spilled transmission fluid.
"I get up to it and I say 'naw, that ain’t transmission fluid.'"
Barry said he saw drag marks in the asphalt leading to the back side of the dumpster. He walked around the other side, to avoid walking through it.
“Right around the edge, I could see the body with no head on it," he said. "I almost puked and hauled a** back.”
Barry was interviewed by deputies when the torso was found and was re-interviewed by Columbia County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jimmy Watson on April 13, 2017, following the arrest of Hyde for Laster's murder. Hyde pleaded not guilty.
At the end of the interview, Watson asks if there is anything Barry wants to add or that is bothering him.
"It's one of them type deals, I wish I’d never had to see it," he said.