LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Every roadside cross has a story. The one that sits on Gieffers Street starts in the early morning hours of August 29, 2003.
"At approximately 4:40 a.m. a man and his friend were approached by two other persons, a fight for whatever reason began and in the course of the fight our victim was shot dead and left at the scene," said Lake Charles Police Sgt. Mark Kraus.
At just 19-years-old, Edward "Lil Joe" Richard was dead... The victim of a suspected armed robbery. His killers shot him twice, then fled on foot. Richard's family spoke to 7 News two years afer the crime.
"I couldn't believe it... I just said no," said Edward's mother Catherine Richard.
"A father is not supposed to bury his son, the son is supposed to bury his father and I live with that everyday, everyday," said Edward Richard, Sr.
"You know when they call and tell you something like that there's nothing you can do but wait it out," said Richard's sister LaKeisha Perry.
Another three years later, Richard's family is still waiting for answers. Lake Charles Police thought they had those answers in December 2004 -- that's when they arrested two men suspected of robbing and murdering Richard.
"We thought we had some compelling evidence in order to make an arrest," explained Sgt. Kraus.
But a grand jury didn't see it that way and the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. But the community hasn't forgeten what happened here... Not with the marker that reminds them of the tragedy now going on six years. Investigators still believe those answers are out there.
"What happens in cases that have such a magnitude, not only on the neighborhood, but the shooter himself is that information is transferred to somebody he trusts and that secret is too big and then he trusts somebody with that information and eventually that information gets passed to somebody who is responsible," said Kraus.