Two years after his death, a re-enactment of 25-year-old Christopher Reese’s murder at a Notus Jacksons is still posted prominently on the Crime Stoppers Southwest Idaho website.
The two men who robbed the convenience store Reese worked at and killed him in December 2014 still haven’t been arrested, and Canyon County investigators are still hoping someone will come forward with the information needed to resolve the case.
This weighs heavily on his sister and mother, who ache for closure.
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“It’s like your heart is numb. You want to love. You want to be able to show love, but you’re just numb,” said Reese’s sister Ashley Pearson of Tennessee. “You feel like you’re just going through (the) motions. It’s just the worst feeling in the world. Even when you feel numb you have to keep living.”
The family is feeling particularly blue as the holiday season approaches. It’s both a time of good, warm memories, and the anniversary of Reese’s death.
“It’s kinda depressing around the holidays,” said Reese’s mother, Polly Griggs. “But we try to focus on our grandkids. That’s the only way I can really get through it.”
Pearson said her daughters still ask about their uncle and still wonder why he’s not coming back.
Reese’s own daughter, Skylar, was 4 years old when her father died.
Two masked gunmen entered the Notus store early in the morning of Dec. 17, when Reese was alone in the store. They immediately shot and killed the clerk, then used a handcart to remove a safe from behind the counter, the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office reports. They also stole Reese’s vehicle from the store’s parking lot. Both the safe and vehicle were recovered a few hours later off of Purple Sage Road just north of Caldwell.
Surveillance photos of the gunmen were widely circulated and Crime Stoppers erected billboards seeking information. Detectives have followed up on more than 500 leads, but the suspects remain at large.
“We have every reason to believe it was a planned, meticulous attack, and not some random act of violence like many of the homicides we see in this area,” Sheriff Kieran Donahue said. “That’s why finding these two suspects remains the number one priority for this office.”
The first gunman, shown in surveillance photos carrying an assault rifle and dressed in a camouflaged jacket and gray hooded sweatshirt, is described as approximately 6 feet tall, with a medium to thick build. The second robber, described as approximately 5 feet, 10 inches tall with a medium to thick build, appeared to have a holstered handgun and was wearing jeans and a dark sweatshirt. Both men wore masks and tan or brown military-style boots.
The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office plans a news conference Thursday to discuss updates in the case and renew a call for information that would lead to arrests. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 208-454-7531 or Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS.
Reese’s family remains eager to find his killers.
“I just really want them to catch these guys,” Pearson said. “It’s been long enough. We cry every day, and it’s never going to go away.”
Griggs urged people who have information about the crime to pass that information on to investigators. She also asked that people not give false leads that hinder the investigation.
“Please: If you’re giving false leads, you’re impeding on this investigation, and you’ve got to stop,” she said. “I want the community to know we’re never going to forget it. We’re always going to keep pushing.”
The Statesman’s Kristin Rodine contributed.