More than two years after a triple homicide took place in a southern Roswell home, a family member of one of the victims murdered in cold blood continues to believe justice can be found.
On Aug. 22, 2015, the bodies of 19-year-old Damon B. Oswald-Newman, 25-year-old Shelly L. Bird and 31-year-old Mere Contreras were found at a house in the 300 block of East Reed Street on a Saturday morning.
Kandice M. Holloway, 24 at the time, was also shot. After multiple surgeries, she survived.
According to previous reports, Contreras’ sister, Reina Contreras, said her brother was shot while she was asleep.
The sister said she tried to help, giving her own brother CPR, but was unsuccessful in reviving him.
According to previous reports by the Roswell Police Department, officer Miguel A. Lopez responded to the scene at about 7:56 a.m. on Aug. 22, 2015. The RPD officer stated a 911 caller reported the shootings.
“As I got within a block and a half of 302 E. Reed, I noticed a Hispanic male riding eastbound away from 302 E. Reed,” Lopez wrote in a police report. “The male subject had no shirt on, his shirt was over his shoulder and was on a mountain bike or 10-speed style bicycle. He was dark brown complexion with dark, brown hair or black hair. His hair was about 4 to 5 inches long.”
Lopez said when he arrived at the home address, the front door was wide open. One of the victims laid face-up in front of the entrance. The RPD officer added that bloody shoeprints led to the home’s basement.
Lopez then went after the bicyclist that passed him, believing the man may have committed the triple homicide.
After searching through several streets to no success, the officer headed back to the scene.
Lopez said he heard a female voice coming from the basement as he entered back into the home. A woman was crying and holding the fourth shooting victim who survived, he said.
Lopez said the surviving shooting victim, Holloway, was transported for medical treatment. In addition, a witness was transported to the Police Department for questioning.
Today, while no arrests have yet been made in connection to the triple homicide, the Chaves County Crime Stoppers issued a notice Tuesday, asking the public to contact them at 888-594-8477 if they have any information related to the murders.
The Chaves County Crime Stoppers said while they have not received any new leads, they tend to revisit cold cases.
The organization said family members requested that the case be shared with the public once more, adding that cash is paid to those that offer tips leading to arrests.
In addition to calling the Chaves County Crime Stoppers’ phone number, tips can also be offered through the website and app, P3 Tips.
Reina Contreras contacted the Daily Record Tuesday, asking that the newspaper aid in the search. When asked whether or not justice can still be found for the victims of the homicide, Reina said, “I believe there’s no statute of limitations on justice being served.”
The RPD’s public information officer, Todd Wildermuth, said the department works closely with the Chaves County Crime Stoppers and that they are glad to see the organization continuing to keep the case in the public eye.
“It can be frustrating to victims’ families and the public in general, as well as to the police investigators, when murder cases are not solved as quickly as we all would like to see them solved so justice can be carried out,” Wildermuth said. “But these types of investigations are often complicated and time-consuming.”
Wildermuth said it can sometimes take many years to find the right witnesses and physical evidence.
“Even when some cases have gone ‘cold,’ investigators remain ready to pursue them further should new information arise that allows more action to be taken and new leads pursued,” he said. “The revelation of important information or the discovery of new evidence, even years later, can revive a case very quickly.”
In addition to the Crime Stoppers, Wildermuth urges anyone with information relating to this case to contact the RPD at 575-624-6770.
“Someone may have seen or heard something the day of the murders — or perhaps heard someone talk about something later, and hasn’t realized until now it may be connected to this case,” Wildermuth said. “Or, perhaps they have just been hesitant to share the information with investigators. We urge people to do the right thing.
“No piece of information is too small or insignificant to be considered. It could turn into the key that leads investigators to those responsible for this horrible crime.”
Multimedia-Crime reporter Trevier Gonzalez can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.