Lindon Cooke started a new life in Fort Lauderdale in 2013 after living in the New Jersey area for much of his life, but his new beginning proved to be a tragic move.
"I don't want any mother to feel what I feel,” said Cooke's mother, Althea Littlejohn.
Littlejohn is still waiting for closure. Seven long years have gone by, and her son's murderer remains on the run.
"It's hard because you feel like perhaps you've brushed shoulder to shoulder with these people. You may or you may not. But you just don't know,” said Littlejohn.
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Cooke was working at a cellphone business in Fort Lauderdale. On Jan. 9, 2014, as he was leaving work, a co-worker told police he told her he was meeting with someone.
"He indicated he was going to speak with Slim's brother. Slim being an associate of Lindon Cooke. He then exits and responds to the parking lot area, where he engages in conversation with the male inside a burgundy four-door type vehicle,” said Detective Jonathan Grossman with the Miami-Dade Police Department.
Cooke was last seen was getting into the burgundy car.
On Jan. 10, 2014, at around 1:50 a.m., Cooke was found dead miles away from Fort Lauderdale in Northeast Miami-Dade. Detectives say he was shot in the courtyard of the Cottage Cove Apartments near 30 NE 188th Street.
"People obviously live in that area, live in those apartments, and it was very brazen to do it the way in which it was done,” said Det. Grossman.
Detectives say they’ve interviewed dozens of people over the years, but they have yet to figure out Cooke’s connection, if any, to the Cottage Cove Apartments. They say robbery was definitely not the motive.
"The victim's body was recovered with his personal property. The personal property that his family indicated he always wore and his cellphone was also with him,” said Det. Grossman.
One key clue may be a man seen on surveillance video purchasing a cellphone in the Palm Bay area. Police are looking to identify him.
"There was a phone that was communicating with our victim, and we believe the phone originated at this store, and we believe this individual may have been in possession of that phone,” said Det. Grossman.
One thing Cooke's mother and detectives agree on is the New York and New Jersey connection to the case.
"We cannot rule out that the shooter may be from down here in the Broward or Miami-Dade area, but we definitely believe New York and New Jersey had some influence in this murder,” said Det. Grossman.
Miami-Dade homicide detectives need the help of the public to solve this case. If you have any information, call Crimestoppers anonymously at 305-471-TIPS.