Murder victim’s brother: Sweater may hold clue about the killer

South County

EXETER, R.I. (WPRI) — Thomas “Greg” Mortin was the best gift-giver.

“He gave me my first football,” his younger brother Gene Sequin recalled. “I still have it.”

Greg’s sisters can still list all of the gifts they got over the years. He never shopped at the big box stores. It was always something specific. They were personal. Just right.

As the siblings grew up to have kids of their own, they still got together every Christmas Eve. In 1990, Renee Picillo thought of the perfect way to repay her big brother.

Greg had blonde hair with sharp blue eyes.

“He was very good-looking,” Renee said. She found a sweater that brought out every one of his features.

Greg never showed up that Christmas Eve, which was strange, but she got the gift to him a few weeks later.

“I guess he liked it,” Renee said through tears. “He had it on when they murdered him.”

Greg had two kids. He was a shellfisherman. He had no enemies and “nobody that stands out that had a reason to want to kill him,” according to Rhode Island State Police Detective Kyle Draper.

In February 1991, someone shot Greg in the head and shoulder at the top of his driveway. His body was dragged into his Boone Lake home, which was then set on fire.

“It’s believed they were trying to cover up the crime scene by setting it on fire,” Draper said.

Greg’s siblings were devastated and scared.

“What I saw in that driveway that day I cannot ever forget,” Sequin said.

State police searched from above and below the water for the gun and any other evidence. 

Gene believes the sweater Renee gave to Greg holds a clue about the killer.

“He’s not going up to the top of the driveway at night, 9 o’clock or so on a Friday night, in the best clothes if he doesn’t know who’s coming up,” Gene explained.

Even though the case is now nearly three decades old, Draper said they are still uncovering information that could one day lead to answers. Evidence is being resubmitted and tested using modern-day DNA technology.

“We still have some leads we’re going to be tracking down the next few weeks,” Draper said.

To bring in more information, he added the investigation to a deck of cold case playing cards. Each card highlights an unsolved homicide or missing person case in Rhode Island.

Thomas “Greg” Mortin is the 9 of spades.

Gene hopes the killer will eventually confess or someone else will come forward with the right tip.

“They talk about people passing or you lose someone,” Gene said. “You didn’t lose anybody. Somebody took them from you.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-877-RI-SOLVE.

The Cold Case Cards » | Cold Case Cards: All In »

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