OAKLAND PARK— A year after his partner was murdered in their Oakland Park home, Shannon Prewitt is looking for answers, even though some things he has learned have not been easy to take.
He ended up moving away from South Florida, to heal. But this month he returned for a visit to dive back into the traumatic August 2010 murder of Alfred "Chad" McMurray, 31.
"They didn't just kill one person. They killed a part of me, a part of his friends, a part of his family," said Prewitt, 39.
He and McMurray had been together for about a year, and Prewitt felt he had met the love of his life.
McMurray was passionate about cooking and was completing a culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu inMiramar.
After the slaying, though, it became apparent the success McMurray had in pursuing his passion did not carry over into another area of his life: his battle with drug addiction.
Detectives have said they think more than one person was involved in McMurray's slaying, and that the killers had some connection to drugs.
Prewitt, a web developer, was out of town on business the night it happened. He said he called McMurray and they chatted about the night's TV lineup.
The two planned to talk after dinner, but when Prewitt called McMurray's cell phone later that night, the call went straight to voicemail.
Prewitt said he sensed something was wrong and asked a friend to stop by the couple's house in the 1300 block of Northeast 34th Street to check on McMurray.
"My friend went up to the door and then was, like, 'I need to call you back,'" Prewitt said. "I knew something had happened."
The next day, McMurray's silver Toyota Tacoma, stolen after the killing, was found parked at the Brampton Court apartments inLauderhill.
The complex, in the 1900 block of Northwest 43rd Terrace, is in a neighborhood with a reputation for street-level drug-dealing, in recent years the site of a string of shootings and at least three homicides.
Detectives have gotten few tips from people in that neighborhood — or elsewhere — about McMurray's killing.
"This is a hard case as far as leads go," said Broward Sheriff's Office Homicide Detective Luis Rivera.
Prewitt and some friends, though, hope someone will come forward. They are offering a reward through Broward Crime Stoppers for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest. The reward stands at $5,000.
Prewitt, who moved to Atlanta six months after the murder, plans to return to South Florida next month, to repeat the painful process of examining details of the case with detectives.
He wants to make sure no one forgets Chad McMurray.
"I've been grieving for him longer than I got to know him," Prewitt said.
Authorities ask anyone with information to contact Detective Luis Rivera at 954-321-4210 or Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-8477.