The family of murdered Akron shop owner Patrick Feeney is offering a reward up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of his killer.
In an exclusive interview with newnet5.com, Feeney's mother, Sharon Mumma, said her life has been gut-wrenching since her only child was killed during a robbery inside Bernie's Shaver Shop and Collectibles on East Exchange Street.
Feeney was a well-liked businessman, known for his kindness and generosity. He was a former marathon runner and also enjoyed golf and practical jokes.
"It's been hard on our health. It's like my heart has been totally affected," Mumma said. "I just want to end up finding out who could have done this horrendous thing."
According to detectives, Feeney, 54, who also lived at the location, was shot in the head after his hands were tied behind his back with duct tape on Jan. 3, 2015.
"I know they took his gold watch off his wrist," Mumma said. "Please help us solve this."
Feeney's family thought the case was partially solved after Akeeme Hayes was arrested a few weeks after the homicide and charged with multiple crimes, including aggravated murder.
However, a few months later, the Summit County Prosecutor's Office wrote a letter to the Akron city prosecutor recommending the charges be dismissed because more time was needed to investigate.
"At this time, based on the ongoing investigation into Mr. Feeney's death, and the state of the evidence, we do not believe the case is ready to be presented to the Grand Jury for a vote," Assistant Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi wrote.
Last April, Hayes was sent to prison on an unrelated drug trafficking charge. He was released in July.
Lt. David Whiddon said a lot of work has been done on the case, but a lack of physical evidence has made the case difficult to prosecute.
"We don't want to go forward with a case and have it fall apart because of a lack of evidence," Whiddon said. "We're not closing our investigation on him. It's an open case. It's an open murder investigation and he's the top suspect."
In the meantime, Sharon Mumma and her husband, Paul, agonize over how long it's taking to get justice for Patrick.
"There was a time when they solved cases before there were forensics, so why can't they solve it now?" Sharon Mumma said.
Police believe more than one person was involved in the murder and they're urging anyone with information to come forward.
"We hope that whoever did it does the right thing and their conscience brings them to light and helps us out," Paul Mumma said.
On top of the family's reward, Summit County Crimestoppers is offering a reward up to $2,000 in the case.
Tipsters can remain anonymous when calling 330-434-COPS.