KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Detectives believe a coat may be the key to closing a cold case murder at a metro motel nearly two years ago.
KPCD Homicide Det. Alane Booth has spent almost two years looking at the suspect's face, listening to his voice, watching clips of KCATA surveillance video hundreds of times.
“To actually have video of person that I'm trying to identify walking, talking -- just seeing those characteristics and then to also have a piece of clothing that we can say this person was wearing at the time that, that people can now see -- I’ll just be shocked if we don't get some good tips," Booth said.
In a made-for-TV crime, this case would be easily solved and wrapped up in 60 minutes, but that’s not the reality for victim Eric Anderson.
It was about 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2016. Police say Anderson was checking in to a room at the Blue Bird Motel off Highway 40, just east of Interstate 435. He was a legitimate guest, staying there sometimes as he was in between living with several relatives.
Detectives say Anderson forgot his ID in his car. When he went outside to grab it, police say a man seen on the bus surveillance video shot him, stepped around him, then got into his car. He couldn’t start it and left it there.
There was no argument, no fight; police believe it was a failed robbery.
"The surveillance video at the motel does capture the shooting incident," Booth said. "So there was minimal, if any, verbal contact prior to the shooting. It was very abrupt and sudden.”
Police say the shooter left the same way he came.
“He gets on and off the bus before and after the murder at 31st and Indiana, the bus shelter at 31st and Indiana, so one would believe that he's familiar with that area. He doesn't make any stops along the way. He goes directly to the Blue Bird Motel and the shooting occurs and then he gets back on the bus and comes back to this area and gets off the bus,” Booth said.
She hopes someone will recognize his movements, the sound of his voice or remember him from frequenting the area where he got on and off the bus.
Booth said there is now new evidence. She held up a coat, a replica of the one she said the shooter was wearing that night.
“Just to clarify for anybody watching, this is not the coat. This is what I believe a duplicate, a replica of the coat that he was wearing that night,” Booth said.
The black coat, or vest, sometimes looks blue in the video because of the light on the bus. It’s marked on the back with the words “BEC Pits Established 1980” from the clothing line by rapper TI.
“That's his brand of clothing. He has all kinds of t-shirts, coats, jackets," Booth said. "Some of the items say 'BEC PITS Established 1980,' but his animal logo is a fox, not a pit bull. The fact that this pit bull is on this jacket is very unique."
Booth said it’s unique because it’s a knockoff or it’s been modified.
“I flew to a suburb just outside of Detroit, Michigan, to contact the person that was selling the items on Ebay," she said. "He only had a couple and I happened to be the purchaser of one, which is this jacket right here. I purchased this jacket with my own money attempting to try to solve this case so I can actually tangibly physically see and touch the jacket that I believe the shooter was wearing that night.”
Check out the surveillance footage in the video player below.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477 or submit a tip online here. All tips are anonymous.