- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Alexandria, Va., police yesterday erected a banner with a giant sketch of the killer in last month's fatal stabbing of an 8-year-old boy in hopes of finding new witnesses in the area where the killer was last seen.

Police will continue to place the 6-foot by 18-foot banner on the side of a bus at the first exit ramp on the Maryland side of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on the Capital Beltway during the afternoon and evening through Friday, and possibly into June.

Police said they hope to jog the memory of anyone who might have seen the killer after he left a cab in that spot on April 19, minutes after slaying Kevin Shifflett in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria.

Kevin's great-grandmother and a female passerby also were injured when they tried to protect Kevin.

Investigators continue to interview cabdrivers who work in Prince George's County, Md., and residents and businesses in the Oxon Hill area, hoping that someone recognizes the killer or knows how he might have left the area near the exit ramp.

The banner, with a 4-foot by 5-foot composite sketch of the killer, reads in capital letters: "Wanted for murder. $60,000 reward. Alexandria police. 703/838-4711."

The killer is described as a black male in his 20s, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 150 to 170 pounds with a light beard or some facial hair.

Police, residents and businesses continue to pledge money for the reward, which began at just $1,000. The banner, worth about $1,300, was made and donated by two businesses in the Del Ray area.

Gayle Reuter, a Del Ray resident who helped find the sign-making businesses, was optimistic about the case and confident the close-knit community will keep offering support to the Shiffletts.

"Hopefully, somebody will see this, and they'll remember something they saw. It just takes one call," Mrs. Reuter said as the banner was set up. "Everybody wants this to end."

"I don't think there's another community in the United States where there's such a close association among citizens, neighborhoods and businesses like we have in Alexandria," she said. "It's as small town as you can get."

The case remains "a top priority" for police, who have 34 full-time, "relentless" investigators working on it, said Lt. John Crawford, a spokesman for the Alexandria Police Department.

"They have a drive for this case like I have never seen in any investigation," Lt. Crawford said. "They have gained momentum … and enthusiasm on this case. They are determined."

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