Dressed in a camouflage jacket, a gray hoodie and a black balaclava covering much of his face, Canyon County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dan Martineau strode into a Jacksons store carrying an assault weapon.
Martineau was portraying one of the gunmen who shot and killed Jacksons clerk Christopher Reese in the predawn hours of Dec. 17 as Reese worked an overnight shift at the Meridian-based chain’s Notus store. Martineau played the role Thursday shortly after midnight for a video re-enactment that authorities hope will generate leads in a case that is growing cold.
Meridian filmmaker Kody Mee and several of his friends volunteered to put together the video for Crimestoppers of Southwest Idaho. They plan to place the two-minute video as a public service announcement on Idaho TV stations. They hope it will lead investigators to the two men who robbed the store and shot Reese to death.
“All of this is volunteer work. We’re doing this because we need to catch these guys,” Mee said.
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A passer-by notified Canyon County dispatchers at 3:30 a.m. that day of “suspicious activity” at the Jacksons store on U.S. 20/26 on Notus’ east side. Deputies found Reese, 25, dead on the floor.
Surveillance video showed one man carrying an assault weapon into the store at about 3 a.m. The man was about 6 feet tall, according to a height scale located next to the front doors.
The second man, who was about 5 feet 10 inches tall, had a handgun strapped to his belt and carried a two-wheeled dolly that was later used to take the store safe. He was wearing a dark-colored sweatshirt and jeans and covered his face with a mask. Detective Shawn Becker, also with the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office, portrayed him in the re-enactment.
July 29 update: Watch the finished video below.
The killers loaded the safe into Reese’s car, a 2007 Lincoln MKZ that was found abandoned on a side street 4 miles east of the Notus store. The safe was found near the car. The thieves were unable to force it open.
The video taping took place for about three hours at a Jacksons store that had closed for the night at 2420 E. Linden St. in Caldwell.
Ted Arnold, who heads Crimestoppers of Southwest Idaho, said he is grateful to Mee and his friends.
“There’s been a ton of effort in this case to bring these guys to justice, but we haven’t got that tip yet that we need to solve it,” said Arnold, who had a three-decade career as a U.S. Army police officer and with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office and Boise Police Department. “It’s one thing to read something on a flier or see it in a newspaper. It’s another thing to watch it on film, and hopefully that’s going to touch the heartstrings of some people out there who might have the information we need to solve this case.”
Mee hopes to have the video edited and ready for airing within a few days. John Walsh of “America’s Most Wanted” fame has agreed to introduce the piece. Mee hopes to get the video on the Justice Network, partially owned by Walsh, to draw national attention to the hunt for Reese’s killers.
Detectives did not provide Mee and his crew with any additional details about Reese’s killing beyond what has already been reported in local media, said Lt. Chris McCormick of the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office. The value of the video is that it gets people talking again about what he called a senseless murder.
McCormick said he hopes the emphasis on Reese’s background as a father of a young child, and the suffering of his girlfriend, his mother and his sister, will prompt someone to report what they know.
“Everybody eventually talks. Whether it’s the suspects themselves that slip up and say something, or whether it’s that jilted lover, that ex-friend, that falling-out of some sort where you had a bond at one point with these individuals and that bond is broken, something is going trigger someone to come forward, and I hope this helps,” McCormick said.