Calumet City Cops Try to Crack Cold Murder Case

Businessman Brian Heywood shot to death 10 years ago in apartment building

Ten years ago businessman Brian Heywood was shot to death in an apartment building he owned in Calumet City. Police continue to investigate his murder. And Heywood's family members are demanding answers.

"It's difficult because the case is so very solvable and we're just missing a couple pieces that can help put it all together," said Calumet City Police Sgt. Kevin Rapacz.

But police and family members agree a key piece of surveillance video could help crack the cold case.

"He was the last one seen with Brian," said Heywood's sister, Loretto Coogan, referring to the image of the man captured on video at her brother's apartment rental office in August, 2003.

Calumet City Police call the unidentified man in the video a "person of interest" in Heywood's murder.

"If we knew who that was or if someone out there knew who that was and pointed us in the right direction, we'd get a lot of answers," Rapacz said.

But the mystery man's whereabouts are unknown.

"There was a rumor he went to Florida or something," Coogan said.

Heywood was 50-years-old and a man with many business connections. He built a hotel in Calumet City and owned rental properties.

"They all loved him. He took care of them," Coogan said.

Court papers show Heywood was also the financier of a water bottling company in Indiana.

"He was the best and his wheels turned all the time and how he could do things," Edward Heywood recalled of his son.

The family believes one of Heywood's many business dealings may have backfired.

Police assume the person in the video stopped by Heywood's office for an apartment tour. They said it's possible the two men left to check out Heywood's property on Cunningham Avenue.

That's where police found Heywood's body.

Investigators said there was a struggle and Heywood was shot three times. Police collected DNA at the scene as well as a pair of sunglasses like those worn by the man in the video.

But there are limited witness accounts.

"You have six gun shots inside this apartment building. Not one person saw anybody leaving the actual apartment, the apartment building, no vehicle," said investigator Marco Glumac.

The family remains hopeful, however. They point to a murder case that was solved through helpful leads and crack detective work. It's a case with a family connection.

Edward Heywood, 91, was serving in the Pacific Theater of Operations toward the end of World War II when he received word that his father, Edgar, had been murdered. The police investigation into Edgar's murder is featured in a classic edition of Real Detective magazine, where it's revealed how an angry employee of Edgar's confessed to the killing.

Present-day investigators are confident they'll find out who killed Edward's son.

"Now is it ten years? Is it twenty years? I can't predict that," said Chief Edward Gilmore. "But somewhere down the line something happens and now with DNA we're getting more success with solving some of these older cases."

The Heywood family recently upped its reward offer for information to $50,000.

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