Family comes forward pleading for answers as KC community icon’s murder remains unsolved

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a metro icon’s murder case remains unsolved, and his family is coming forward for the first time begging for answers.

Eighty-three-year-old Jimmy Townsend was found dead in his backyard weeks ago and police still don’t know who pulled the trigger. On Wednesday family and friends gathered, hoping to change that.

“He did not deserve this.”

An inconsolable daughter who didn’t get to say goodbye to her dad. Her father, 83 year old Jimmy Townsend, was found shot to death in his backyard on December 19th. A man best known for rescuing the Green Duck Lounge and Grill from foreclosure and turning it into a historic landmark.

“We’re all at a great loss here, we’re all at a great loss. I’m sure everybody here, at one time or another, Jimmy did something for them,” Townsend’s daughter said.

One woman in particular. She came forward tonight, in tears, grabbing the microphone. She says when she had no where to go, she turned to Jimmy.

“Gave me a place to stay. Fed me. Took me to church made sure I ate, made sure I was clean. Took me to Walmart when I needed clothes,” Allonda Gillery said.

Jimmy’s death adds to more than 100 homicides in the metro, in 2015 alone. Family members don’t want him to become a statistic, a number in a pile of unsolved Kansas City murders.

“An 83-year-old man is supposed to die from natural causes. Not from somebody causing him to die. That’s the truth,” Community activist Pat Clarke said.

Although family members were the ones to find him dead, they say they refuse to remember that image but instead they’ll remember Jimmy as a man who loved his community and was doing all he could to make it a better place.

“We lost a legend,” granddaughter Lesli Ann Lablance said.

Family members say they are fully cooperating with police but can’t do this alone. Investigators need your help too. If you know anything about this call Crimestoppers at (816) 474-TIPS.

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