18-Year-Old Cold Case Murder Mystery Sees Important Leads – NBC Chicago

Even in a city that has suffered so many murders, Kevin Clewer’s murder seemed unusually violent to veteran Chicago homicide detective Lt. William Svilar, who sadly saw it all.

“Just cold-blooded murder,” Svilar said, describing the case. “There is no evidence to suggest that [Clewer] retaliated. All the wounds are in his back.”

On March 23, 2004, Clewer, 31, was out with his friends, bar-hopping on North Halsted Street in the Lake View community. Police reports say he met a stranger and they returned to Clewer’s house nearby. The next day, when Clewer failed to show up for work, his father came to his apartment and found his son’s body on the floor.

“He has multiple stab wounds. I mean 40, all in the back,” Svilar said of the crime scene. “It’s rage. It’s what we call exaggeration.”

According to police, Clewer had no enemies and was described as a nice guy.

Clewer grew up in Calumet City with his older brother Ron and parents who enjoyed spending time together. With the support of his family, Clewer got out in high school and then moved to Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood in his late twenties.

“He had connections, and these men would come to our house. We would be together at Christmas, we would be together at Thanksgiving, and they were part of our family,” Clewer’s brother Ron said.

According to the police, a possible motive was theft. A suspect was the stranger in the bar.

Chicago police created a composite of the suspect and passed it around the neighborhood.

“He identified himself in the bar as Fernando, but that’s not his name,” Svilar said, adding that the suspect was known in the community and had a history of robbery but not violence. “In fact, most [the robberies] were not reported. … We learned about them through interviews because most people don’t want to report it. It’s an embarrassing situation.”

Police are not releasing the suspect’s name but say they know who he is.

“He is of Puerto Rican descent and has been back and forth between Chicago and Puerto Rico,” Svilar added.

Clewer’s family searched for the killer, even posting flyers of the suspect in Puerto Rico.

“We know he’s not in Chicago anymore,” Ron Clewer said. “We know people know him.”

Ron Clewer’s quest for his brother’s killer is now lonely. A year after the murder, his mother was diagnosed with cancer and died. Just two weeks later, her father died of a heart attack. It seemed that both of their hearts had been broken at the age of 56.

“It’s a lot of stress for a family to go through,” said Ron Clewer. “I saw over time how literally it took away from them physically, emotionally and mentally.”

Eighteen years after Kevin’s death, Ron Clewer is now 56 and continues to fight for justice for his brother and his parents.

“I hope Kevin’s story will motivate you to call the police and give them information,” he pleaded.

Anyone with information can anonymously call the Chicago Police Homicide Information Line at 833-408-0069 or email CPDTip.com. Tips leading to charges or a conviction can receive up to $15,000 in rewards.

NBC Chicago

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