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COLD CASE FILES: Elkhart Police release new information in 4-year old Cold Case

By Kristin Bien
Published On: Nov 11 2013 04:11:59 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 11 2013 06:10:18 PM CST

WSBT's Kristin Bien digs into the 4-year-old murder mystery of Drake Muncie of Elkhart.

ELKHART -

Drake Muncie was 26-years-old when he was gunned down in front of his Elkhart home.

The case didn't get a lot of media attention at the time, and it is still unsolved today. That means his family and his young son still have no idea who killed him.

Maybe you can help. Police are releasing new information in this case, hoping someone will help them solve it.

A Family Without Answers

"My favorite author is R.L. Stine," explains 7-year-old Eli Muncie as he sits at the kitchen table with his grandmother. "Some words that I come to, I just sound it out. And whatever I hear, I just go with it."

Eli is in the advanced classes at school. His teachers and his grandmother say he is really smart. In fact, the first grader is getting so good at chess, he can beat his grandfather.

Eli's dad, though, isn't here to see any of it. That's because four years ago, on August 2, 2009, Eli's dad, Drake Muncie, was shot and killed.

"He was my boy," says Cherie Lester, Drake mom. "I mean, he and I had a very special relationship. I love all my children, but Drake just needed that little bit extra."

Lester describes Drake as the center of attention, funny, but laid back. Drake loved video games and comics. He was a loner, says Lester, but he loved his family and he adored his son.

"He was in love with that child," says Cherie.

In 2009, Drake was 26-years-old. He was working as a custodian, cleaning offices after hours while living on County Road 6 in Elkhart, near the intersection of Johnson Street. His mom says he lived a comfortable life with his wife of 3 years and Eli, who was 3-years-old at the time.

But, in the early morning hours of August 2, everything would change.

Someone's At the Door

Police say Drake and his wife had gone out to eat, put Eli to bed and were cleaning up for the night when, around 1 a.m., someone came to the door. Drake answered, while his wife stayed inside. Police say it was a man at the door and that Drake went outside to talk to him. Police believe there was a fight, gunshots rang out and Drake was shot.

Lester says Drake's wife ran to another room when the fight started to protect Eli and didn't get a good look at the man.

Police say someone driving by saw Drake's body in front of his house and called 911.
Drake died at the hospital. His mom believes Drake was protecting his family that night.

"He didn't know what was going to happen," says Lester. "If the guy shot him, was he going to go in and get Cheryl and the baby, too?"

Police won't say what happened between the two men, what kind of injuries Drake had, how many times he was shot or who brought the gun. In fact, they remain tight lipped about many details in this case.

"That way, when that information does come in, we know it is very reliable," says Elkhart City Detective Sergeant Steve Price.

Police Release New Information

Police are releasing some new information in the hope that it will encourage people to come forward with information.

"There was evidence recovered in the case," says Price, "and from that, we were able to obtain a DNA profile as a piece or pieces of evidence were sent to the state lab. We do have a DNA profile of someone other than Drake."

Now, police say all they have to do is match that DNA to a suspect.

Now that police have a complete DNA profile of the suspect, every time someone in Indiana is convicted of a felony, their DNA will be checked against the DNA found at the crime scene. Police believe it is just a matter of time before they catch Drake's killer.

They say there are people of interest in this case and it is solvable, but they need help from the public.

"We think there are some key people in the case that for whatever reason -- fear or just lack of wishing to cooperate with police -- have not given us the information that would help lay this case out," says Price.

And no one would like to see that happen more than Drake's family.

Searching for Answers

"Life is so precious. He didn't just kill my son, he killed Eli's daddy, my mother's grandson, my son's brother. He just took more than he could ever know," says Lester.

Eli is 4 years older now. Lester says thankfully, he doesn't remember anything from that horrible day. But it is also getting harder to remember his dad. Luckily, his family won't let him forget.

"Drake has talked about it constantly," says Lester. "He doesn't have a lot of memories of his dad. But he remembers playing video games with his dad. He'll say things like, my dad loved me. And when he was a little younger, he would tell me I am going to be a cop and find the bad guy who shot my daddy."

Everyone, though, hopes it won't take that long.

"I want face to face. I want him to know what he has done to my family," says Lester.

Contact Police

If you know something about the murder of 26-year-old Drake Muncie:
Elkhart City Police Department: (574) 295-7070
Detective Sergeant Steve Price: (574) 389-4722
Crimestoppers: (574) 288-STOP or (574) 342-7867