Police say they’ve identified a suspect in brutal 2004 murder of Kevin Clewer, but they need more information
CHICAGO (CBS) — It was more than 18 years in the past when Kevin Clewer was discovered stabbed to loss of life in his East Lakeview condo – and Chicago Police as soon as once more are asking to your assist in the investigation.
As CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek reported Tuesday evening, police are asking for added proof and witnesses to come back ahead for the case to be prosecuted by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
Clewer’s physique was discovered by his father on Wednesday, March 24, 2004, in his third-floor condo in at 3444 N. Elaine Pl. His household stated he had been on the golf equipment on Halsted Street the evening earlier than, and his household grew to become involved and got here to examine on him when he did not present up for work.
As Chicago Police murder Lt. William Svilar famous in a newly-released video, Clewer’s father had obtained a name that his son had not come to work, and instantly went to Kevin’s condo. He discovered his son’s lifeless and bare physique, lined solely with a gown.
Kevin Clewer was 31. He would have turned 50 this previous April.
Kostek talked with Richard Streetman – who knew Clewer, and stated Clewer was a sufferer to whom many individuals might relate to and determine with. That is why the case stays so devastating and haunting for thus many.
“I think a lot of members of the LGBT community like myself – who were living in Chicago in 2004 – when you say, ‘Kevin Clewer,’ are going to know exactly what you’re talking about,” Streetman stated, “because it could’ve been any one of us.”
Indeed, 18 years later, Clewer’s loss of life haunts Streetman – who knew Clewer and had a number of mutual associates. And certainly, Streetman is much from alone.
“Unfortunately, when something this bad happens, there’s no answer,” Streetman stated.
In the CPD video, Kevin Clewer’s brother – Ron Clewer – famous that the investigation confirmed Kevin had gone to some of the bars and nightclubs on North Halsted Street round 9:30 p.m. the evening earlier than with associates. They visited Sidetrack, Roscoe’s, and the since-demolished Little Jim’s.
At one level, a man who referred to as himself Fernando began a dialog with Clewer – and they left collectively, heading again for Clewer’s condo, Ron Clewer stated.
A suspect named “Fernando” being related to the case is much from new. In Police introduced in June 2004 that they had identified a particular person of curiosity often known as “Fernando” – and launched a sketch of him. Images of that sketch in neighborhood alerts have remained posted in some North Halsted Street companies ever since.
But the investigation stalled.
Kevin Clewer’s mother and father, Jim Clewer and Pam Cunningham, distributed tens of 1000’s of fliers with the sketch of “Fernando” and marched in the Chicago Pride Parade. But each died all of the sudden inside a week of one another in 2005.
But now, police say they know who “Fernando” is.
In January 2021, murder detectives had been capable of determine “Fernando,” and consider him to be the one who killed Clewer, Lt. Svilar stated. However, the circumstances of the investigation requires extra proof and witnesses for the State’s Attorney’s office to prosecute the case.
“We believe there are people in Chicago, and possibly elsewhere, who have valuable information that could assist this homicide investigation,” Svilar stated in the CPD video.
The investigation reveals the suspect’s identify was probably not “Fernando” – and he solely used that identify when he met Clewer, Svilar stated. The investigation additionally reveals the suspect fled to Puerto Rico shortly after his sketch was launched in 2004 – but has been again to Chicago infrequently since, Svliar stated.
Police stated “Fernando” additionally had theft and prostitution-related offenses, but was not identified to be a violent offender.
He could have bragged to associates and acquaintances about going to bars, choosing up intoxicated males, having sexual activity, and robbing them when they handed out, Svilar stated.
Further, Svilar stated, it’s believed that individuals who know “Fernando” can be shocked to seek out out he stabbed Clewer 40 instances.
“Maybe people know things that they don’t even realize is important,” Streetman stated.
Streetman says whereas he would not consider he ever got here throughout the suspect, he is positive others did- and urges them to come back ahead with any information, nevertheless small or seemingly insignificant.
“Anything you know may be the one thing that’s necessary to help them find who did this,” Streetman stated.
But Streetman says in spite of everything this time, an arrest nonetheless would not imply justice.
“There is no justice,” Streetman stated. “What happened to him killed his parents not very long after. What happened to him affects everyone who everyone knew him.”
Chicago Police are asking anybody with information about this chilly case to come back ahead. Again, they say they need more proof and witnesses for the state’s legal professional to have the ability to prosecute the case.
Police Supt. David Brown advises that you probably have any information on this case, you may name the murder tip line anonymously at (833) 408-0069. You also can ship in a tip at CPDTIP.com.