Drive-by murder of Tucson teen still unsolved - Tucson News Now

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Drive-by murder of Tucson teen still unsolved

Tucson Police are still baffled by what happened in the early morning hours of February 3, 2008.

Friends and family were gathered under the carport of a home at 860 West Calle Matus when a single vehicle drove by and opened fire.

The lone victim that night was a 15 year old boy named Ricardo Varela.

His murder remains unsolved to this day.

There's an old saying that time is supposed to heal everything.

Sadly, that hasn't been true for the family of Ricardo Varela.

"We thought burying our son was gonna be the hard part," says the victim's father Robert Varela.  "But the hard part is living without him."

That's what they've had to do since February, 2008.

Ricardo was staying the night at his grandmother's house on Tucson's west side when somebody drove by and changed everything in an instant.

"As soon as he walked out, I guess an SUV was coming down the street shooting," says the young man's father.  "And a stray bullet hit him in the head."

That SUV is described as a white, pickup-style Cadillac Escalade.

It's unclear if the shots were random or directed at somebody that night.

Whatever the case may be, this innocent young boy paid the ultimate price.

"He's this 15 year old boy and he doesn't even live there," said Tucson Police Detective Michael Carroll.  "He's probably not part of the problem whatever the problem is -- and he gets hit."

Today, Ricardo is remembered fondly with memorials on line and a shrine next to the crime scene.

Birthdays and holidays are always hardest, his parents say.

But when times get tough, the lockets around their necks always seem to bring peace.

"I'll always have him in my heart," Robert Varela says, shaking his head.  "But when times get hard, I'll just pull it out and look at it and just keep going for him."

While the case has grown cold, Tucson Police continue to investigate.

Somebody out there, somewhere knows what happened to Ricardo Varela.

"I'm looking for the public's help solving this case," Detective Carroll said.  "We're gonna need something from maybe somebody who's heard something, somebody who's bragged about the shooting."

If that somebody is you call 911 or 88 Crime.

A reward up to $1,000 will go the person whose tip leads to an arrest in this unsolved case.

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