BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A horrible anniversary hits Tuesday (December 29) for one Baton Rouge family.
It is one that has turned the holidays into something very different for relatives of Danny Brown, 30. Back on Dec. 29, 2011, their worlds changed forever. All this time later, they are still hopeful a killer can be caught. They remain hopeful, but not confident.
It all began for them that night four years ago right near Howell Park Golf Course in north Baton Rouge. On a good day in the summer, that's a place that would have a lot of people walking around. But during the winter, it can make for a pretty lousy witness.
"Eight o'clock at night, in the winter, no one's playing golf," said Det. Bryan Ballard with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
And, of course, he's right. It was a big, open empty space at that point. And, that's the time of night that police were called to a stretch of East Brookstown Road right along the course. Someone had seen a body lying off in a ditch. It was a short time later that detectives went to see Cleveland Hernandez, the victim's father.
"He didn't have his ID on him," said Hernandez, speaking of his son. "So, they fingerprinted him and then pulled out a photograph and said, 'Is this your son?' I said, 'Yes, that's him.'"
Just like that, his world flipped. His son had been shot and killed. There is never a good time for something like this to happen, but the holidays just added to the heartbreak and has every year since.
"I know he had spent the holiday with the family. He had just recently come back here, lives in the area. Has friends and family in the area," Ballard added.
The thing is with all these friends around Brown's dad wonders where they are now. Nobody is coming forward to help. In fact, a harsh reality is setting in for him. It is the fact that the community may never step up.
"Really, I don't have that much confidence. I see these stories run all the time and come back on it and it's been a year and we still don't have any (answers) on the murder," Hernandez explained.
And, of course, it's been four years for his son and four long years for his family.
Hernandez also said the family heard it was three guys on bikes who ran up on him, robbed him and shot him. But that's just the grapevine talking. There are always stories on the street. Their confidence may be low, but they're hoping for a little more talking. They are hoping that the right story makes its way to the right people. Make that phone call.
If you have any information about this deadly shooting, call Crime Stoppers at 344-7867, text CS225 plus your message to CRIMES (274637) or anonymously or go to www.crimestoppersbr.com.