Knoxville murder victim's mother offers reward

Knoxville murder victim's mother offers reward

Posted:
Lee Byford (source: family) Lee Byford (source: family)
“Your life is just never ever the same when you lose a child. It's something parents shouldn't have to go through,” said Ann Marotti. “Your life is just never ever the same when you lose a child. It's something parents shouldn't have to go through,” said Ann Marotti.
By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knox County man's family is still looking for justice 16-months after his murder.

Lee Byford, 37, was shot and killed on January 5, 2013 in his SUV on Bonnie View Avenue in East Knox County. Police are still investigating the murder.

Previous story: Man found dead in East Knox County of gunshot wounds

Byford's family has been working to raise money and put up a reward in hopes of helping investigators get more tips to solve the crime.

Byford's mother Ann Marotti is in Knoxville for a couple days after driving in from the Memphis area. She has been busy talking to police and Friday night she is posting reward flyers in hopes investigators will soon get a tip that will crack the case.

“Your life is just never ever the same when you lose a child. It's something parents shouldn't have to go through,” said Ann Marotti.

Even though 16 months have passed, she says the time hasn't eased her pain.

“You wake up and it's like it just happened, like a nightmare that you can't wake up from,” said Marotti.

According to the Knoxville Police Department, Byford's body was found in the driver's seat of the SUV. Marotti says her son was murdered on his birthday.

“You think about the fear he must have been feeling and not knowing who did it or why someone would do something like that,” said Marotti.

To help find answers, friends and family have been collecting money. They now have $5,000 to put up a reward. If a person comes forward with a tip that leads to an arrest and conviction they'll get the money. Marotti hopes the reward helps investigators get new clues to crack the case.

“We want whoever took him from us to answer for that and to be punished,” said Marotti.

According to KPD, the case is still active. Detectives are still investigating multiple leads but are always looking for new information.

“If anyone knows anything please come forward to help us find this person so we can have closure and justice for Lee,” said Marotti.

Marotti will be putting up flyers at stores along Asheville Highway Friday night. The flyers will have her son's photo and information about the reward. Tina Gregg and Joan Berry will be helping her. Gregg and Berry's daughters are also homicide victims.

If you have any information about the shooting death of Lee Byford call the Knoxville Police Department at 865-215-7212.

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