Georgia man indicted for 1982 murder of Arizona military woman

René Dawn Blackmore
Marcellus McCluster
Posted at 1:51 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 17:10:38-04

CHATTAHOOCHEE COUNTY, GA — A Georgia man has been indicted for the 1982 murder of an Arizona military woman.

On March 28, 2022, a Chattahoochee County Grand Jury made the decision to indict 64-year-old Marcellus McCluster for the murder of then 20-year-old Rene Dawn Blackmore of Arizona.

Marcellus McCluster
Georgia Bureau of Investigation

On April 29, 1982, U.S. Army Private Blackmore disappeared upon leaving her barracks at Fort Benning, GA to travel to Richland, GA.

Nearly a month later Blackmore's wallet and sweater were found on a roadside near Cusseta, GA.

René Dawn Blackmore
Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Then on June 28, 1982, Blackmore's remains were discovered off a logging road a few miles further south in Chattahoochee County. She was killed by a shotgun blast, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

McCluster was identified as a possible suspect within a year, but the original investigation eventually stalled.

In late 2020, GBI Director Vic Reynolds established the agency’s Cold Case Unit composed of retired GBI investigators.

GBI stated that Blackmore’s death was an initial focus of the unit, which worked with Army CID, the Chattahoochee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Office of District Attorney for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit to develop the case further.

The resulting indictment of McCluster includes one count of Malice Murder and four counts of felony murder.

GBI agents subsequently served McCluster with an arrest warrant at a Georgia Department of Corrections facility near Augusta, GA where he is serving a life sentence for an unrelated 1983 murder conviction.

An arraignment in Chattahoochee County is scheduled for April 25, 2022.

Anyone with investigative information about the Blackmore case is urged to contact the GBI at 1-800-597-TIPS (8477) or online at Anonymous tips are accepted.