Cold Case FIles: Heather and Kira Radcliffe
In the world of Cold Cases, investigators never know where the next lead will come from. The detectives in these cases need a special set of skills. They need to have great communication and research skills. They also must be creative and enthusiastic. Deductive reasoning must also be used.
This cold case file is from the Gainesville Police Department. It is a double-murder investigation. And, for the first time, we learn there was another death involved. It's a beloved family dog, a chow mix, that friends say was very protective of his family.
The summer of 2006 was filled with promise for 28 year old Heather Radcliffe and her 6 year old daughter Kira. Everything in Heather's life seemed to be falling into place. Her hard work at a tree company had resulted in the purchase of her first home.
Her father, Bob Radcliffe, says, "It represented a place that was special to her. A place to gather friends and family. It was a happy experience for her." And her friends say Heather had found a good place to raise her daughter. "She was really happy to have her own place. She was a great mother. She was always giving hugs and kisses and happy," says her best friend, Erika Ashley.
But the happiness came to an end when, in early December 2006, Heather was shot three times and possibly sexually battered. Kira was choked until she was unconscious and left to die. The family dog Kahmi was in a closed front bedroom with no way out. The killer then set the house on fire and left.
Once the fire was cleared Gainesville Police detectives were allowed inside. Detective Louis Acevedo says, "We found two individuals, Kira and Heather, who clearly had a future ahead of them. It was a heartless crime."
Investigators say no one has come forward from the busy neighborhood to say they heard the gunshots, a call for help or the dog barking. The home on NW 32nd was torn down after the fire. Now, you will find an overgrown lot and withered flowers from a makeshift memorial. The only physical reminder of happier times is Kira's small swing.
Bob Radcliffe continues to hold on to hope that someone will come forward with a new tip saying, "We need to find the individual who did this heinous crime or that individual is going to cause that to happen again."
Those left behind wait for answers, justice and closure.
The summer of 2006 now approaches the spring of 2009. The promise of "tomorrow" for Heather and Kira is replaced with a new promise from investigators who need things to start falling into place.
Gainesville Police Detective Will Halvosa says, "Heather and Kira, and their families, deserve the best that we have. We don't want to give up on this case and we never will."
There will be a family fun day to remember Heather and Kira on April 11th at Possum Creek Park. The entire community is asked to come and celebrate their life. Various family events are planned.
For more information about this special event click here.
If you have information on this case, please contact the Gainesville Police Department at: 352.334.2470
Or contact Det. Patty Nixon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Monday night (3.16.09), on Cold Case Files, a startling revelation that could lead you to solve a murder investigation.
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- Remembering Heather & Kira Radcliffe