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'48 Hours' report on Mintz murder airs Saturday

The story of Vanessa Mintz and Travis McGraw, who was convicted in her murder, will air Saturday. The story of Vanessa Mintz and Travis McGraw, who was convicted in her murder, will air Saturday.

The news magazine "48 HOURS" on Saturday will air its story on the murder of Vanessa Mintz, a beloved mother, wife and businesswoman who was gunned down in a family-owned mountain lodge in Saluda.

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Called "The Ultimatum," the show will be broadcast on CBS Television Network at 10 p.m. Saturday. The murder and robbery left Mintz's family stunned and a town fearing a killer was on the loose, the network said in a news release. The law enforcement investigation into what happened to Mintz would expose a hidden secret and her two daughters, Jessica Freeman and Andrea Little Gray, would emerge as powerful advocates for their mother.

"This was certainly a very violent death," Steve Modlin, a special agent with the State Bureau of Investigation, said in the report. "There was no forced entry."

Vanessa Mintz was working the night shift at the Saluda Mountain Lodge on Feb. 19, 2011. Mintz routinely texted or called her daughter, Jessica, but on that night, she didn't. When Jessica arrived that morning, she found the door to the lodge open. She also found her mother on the bed in a back bedroom. She'd been shot twice – once in the arm, once in the face. The lodge's cash drawer was open.

Jessica Freeman and Andrea Little Gray, daughters of Vanessa Mintz, were interviewed by the 48 Hours news magazine.Jessica Freeman and Andrea Little Gray, daughters of Vanessa Mintz, were interviewed by the 48 Hours news magazine.Travis McGraw, Mintz's husband, a police officer and Air Force Reservist who was also a former firefighter and EMT, said he was 12 miles away visiting his teenage son from a previous marriage when Vanessa was killed.

"My heart has been ripped out, and it's laying there dead with her," daughter Jessica says in the TV report.

The killer took only $200, but left behind other valuables. Whoever did it, though, also got sloppy.

"We worked the crime scene in great detail, and found a piece of crucial evidence that only the killer could have left,'" Modlin told 48 HOURS.

But did Mintz know her killer? Was the murder a random robbery that went bad? And could her daughters get justice for their mother?

Travis McGraw told police he had nothing to do with the murder, and willingly turned over his cache of guns to police. However, it was what was found in McGraw's cell phone records – intimate texts to Mary Beth Fisher, who he was secretly dating – that took this case in a very different direction. At first, he told Fisher he wasn't married. But after Fisher found out he was, McGraw said he and his wife were business partners only and no longer together as a couple.

"This was money- and sex-driven," says Mintz's daughter, Andrea Little Gray. "How disgusting is that to murder someone for?"

Reporter Peter Van Sant and the 48 HOURS team piece together Mintz's life and the search for her killer through interviews with her family, McGraw's father, Fisher, Modlin, prosecutor Alex Bass and others.