Father seeks answers in son’s unsolved murder

Willie Byars, Jr.

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 7:42 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Police came to NBC Charlotte exclusively to help solve a murder that has left a Charlotte family completely broken.
 
Willie Byars, Sr., struggles just to describe the picture of his kids that hangs over his fireplace.

“This is, of course, my son that was shot dead,” he said, pointing at one of the last pictures of all four of his kids together.
 
Listening to Willie will break your heart; he is a devastated father.

“Last time I saw my son was on Thanksgiving.”

Two days later, 38-year-old Willie Byars, Jr., was dead.
 
“Who would do such a thing? It’s just hard,” his dad says.
 
It was November 2012 when Willie Junior went to his niece’s birthday party then home to the boarding house on Shady Lane where he lived with three roommates.
 
He was shot twice in his home, including once in the head.
 
Detective Cecil Brisbon is working the case.

“When someone is shot in the head that leads you to believe the person who did it wanted to make sure they were dead,” Detective Brisbon explained.
 
But investigators say they have no idea why. There was no break-in and no obvious motive. They have few leads more than a year after the shooting.
 
Brisbon says, “Based on info, it appears Mr. Byars may have known the offender, but we can’t prove that at this point and time. There is no motive-- nothing taken”.
 
Byars Senior says, “My life is consumed with trying to figure out another angle for the police to investigate now.”
 
Willie Senior says his son was one of the good guys, and police agree: no drugs, no criminal history, nothing that might explain why someone would kill the paralegal in training.

His father is desperate for answers.
 
“That’s the part that kills me the most right now. The person or persons need to man-up.”
 
Without answers, Willie senior is truly struggling.
 
“I didn’t allow Thanksgiving here; I just couldn’t handle it. We almost always have Thanksgiving together, so to not have him just...,” he says, trailing off.
 
Police are convinced someone knows something that will help their case. If you have that information, you could get a cash reward. Call Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600.

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