Murder case involving young couple remains unsolved months later
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
The year 2016 started out violent and never slowed down. Last year, Metro police logged 166 homicides and while the solve rate is high, some cases continue to haunt investigators.
One of those haunting cases is the killing of a young couple in October of 2016.
Police believe there will be justice for the families.
"Words can not describe the sadness, and the pain, and the frustration I feel," said Connie Land.
It's been nearly four months when a man and a woman was found shot to death inside their apartment on Hualapai and Peace Way.
The couple was later identified as 21-year-old Sydney Land and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Neo Kauffman.
"This one was basically an assassination, an execution of two very young people," said Lt. Dan McGrath with Metro Homicide.
This couple is just two of the 166 people murdered in Metro's jurisdiction last year. Three-quarters of those cases are solved. This is one that still eats at investigators.
"Around 85% of our murders involved guns. And we have seen younger people, these younger people, and it's probably some other younger people involved on the suspect side," said Lt. McGrath.
Connie says her daughter was one word: joy. The oldest of four children and 2013 graduate of Centennial High School, who hoped to someday work in the medical field, helping kids.
Police say they don't believe Sydney was the intended target but rather a true victim, caught up in the something she knew nothing about. For Connie, the outcome is the same.
"I go through her Instagram or Facebook or something to hear her voice. Because I miss her voice. I miss her sounds, I miss hugging her, I miss telling her I love her," said Connie.
Connie says memories of that awful day are seared in her memory. The panic, the police tape and the officer gently explaining why she could not enter her daughter's apartment. Moving forward, Connie decided tragedy would not break her family.
"Sydney would go: Mom step up, you're strong, make something good from this. And I thought okay: we get to find out who were made of," she said.
Connie also says she's absolutely certain someone knows who killed her daughter and Neo. Someone who so far has refused to step forward. And police agree. Telling us the case is solvable. All they need is one brave soul to do the right thing.
"There have been rumors on social media but nothing we can move with on the case. So that's what we're looking for," said Lt. McGrath.
"People idly stand by and allow bad things to happen, and then will say it's terrible, the city is going downhill or crime is going up. Why? Because we allow it," said Connie.
For now, forensic evidence is being examined over and over and a simple robbery seems unlikely.
Sydney Land will never grow old but she will always be a part of her family's lives.
"She is in a place where no one can hurt her and our family is eternal, and we'll see her again," said Connie.