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COLD CASE FILES: The cold blooded murder of Dad, Lorenzo Walker

By By Kristin Bien (kbien@wsbt.com)
Published On: Jul 18 2013 08:52:26 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2013 06:41:42 PM CDT
COLD CASE FILES: The cold blooded murder of Dad, Lorenzo Walker
WSBT-TV -

St. Joseph County Metro Homicide investigators say they are getting closer to finding the people who killed Lorenzo Walker 9 years ago in his South Bend home. They need your help to make sure justice is served for his parents, his siblings and his daughter.

La'Zia Walker is a well adjusted, smiley, 9-year-old. She is like most kids her age, with one big difference -- her dad was murdered.

"I think, why would somebody do that to him because he was a nice person," says La'Zia, "and I think like what would he be doing for me if he was still here today."

La'Zia was 4-months-old when her father, 29-year-old Lorenzo Walker, was shot to death. Her memories don't go back that far, so she holds tight to the few photographs she has of them together.

"This is me and my dad at the pool," says La'Zia as she shows us a picture in a photo album. "That was actually the day before he was murdered," her mother, LaTangela Bird points out.

A New Life for Lorenzo?

2004 meant a new leaf for Lorenzo Walker.

LaTangela Bird says she and Lorenzo dated for 3 years prior to his death.

"He was extremely good looking," describes Bird, "so handsome and tall. He was so charismatic and fun."

In 2003, they found out they were expecting. When she was 8 months pregnant, Lorenzo decided he was going to turn his life around. Walker had a rough past. Bird says he was involved in selling drugs but because they were expecting in February, he wanted out of that life. He had just started working as a welder and was trying to establish himself as a new person.

"He was really excited to take on his new role as a dad and be with his daughter and myself and have a good time together," says Bird.

La'Zia was born in February of 2004 and Walker was settling into his new life.


Cut Short

July 3, 2004 started off like a normal, hot summer day.

LaTangela says she talked to Walker on the phone at 8 a.m. Walker was at his Hamilton Street home. Bird was at a family member's house a few blocks over, preparing for a party. Later that morning, everything changed. Bird says she got a phone call that Lorenzo was dead.

"I was completely devastated. I just couldn't wrap my mind around why someone would kill him like that. He was such a good guy," says Bird.

What happened?

Police say Walker was found shot to death in his basement.
 
According to Crimestoppers, he was last heard from around 10 a.m. that day. An autopsy revealed he died from a gunshot wound to the head. Because of Walker's past, police believe drugs and drug money were involved.

Police believe Walker was confronted in his driveway or his kitchen and then taken into the basement where he was shot and killed. Metro Homicide Commander Tim Corbett says Walker's house was a mess, indicating it had been ransacked or there was a struggle.

"Some (murder) scenes are more in disarray, are more violent with evidentiary things we collect," said Corbett, "I don't want to go into graphic detail about what we saw there, but this was not a pristine scene. And it was horrific."

Police say they know more than one person was involved. In fact, in this case, police say they have a good idea of who was involved.

"Sleep with one eye open. We are coming," says Corbett.

9 Years Later

A lot of time has gone by since La'Zia Walker's dad was murdered, and there has still been no justice. This, as she starts to look more and more like her father.

"I like this bear most out of all my bears because it is special to me," says La'Zia who hugs a teddy bear, "Because I had it when my dad was around and it came from his family."

And as she grows up without her dad, she clings to all that remains of him, including that bear.

"You whisper in the bear's ear a lot, don't you?" Bird asks La'Zia.

"(I whisper) that we have the same dad and that our dad is the guardian angel of us," says La'Zia.

Contact Police

Police say this case can be solved. If you know who was responsible for the death of Lorenzo Walker, you could receive a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your information leads to an arrest.

You can remain anonymous.

Contact Crimestoppers:
574-288-STOP
800-342-STOP
http://www.michianacrimestoppers.com/crimeoftheweek.aspx