Neigbors have not forgotten how this small man, Nicholas Nee, cried and screamed and crouched in the hallway of his daughter's apartment house, beating his fists against the wall.

Annette Nee, at 19, was his eldest daughter. Five months ago she was murdered in her Hyattsville high-rise apartment, chosen because it was secure and in walking distance of the College Park campus of the University of Maryland where she was a student.

Since the murder, Nicholas Nee has filled has sleeless nights with long letter-writing sessions.

He has written to more than 150 people. To the friends and strangers who once made up the world of his slain 18-year-old daughter, he has written pleas for more clues, andy clues, and asked them, as well, why the world has suddenly turned so cruel.

"When I am driving hime I sometimes forget where I am," Nee confessed. "I go over in my mind why anyone would do this and I can find no answer."

She was killed in her living room by one bullet through her nostrils that lodged in her neck. Her father, worried because he hadn't heard from his daughter, had a janitor open her apartment door where Nicholas Nee discovered his daughter's body.

Five months later it is still a murder without clues. There was no sign of struggle, nothing had been taken from the apartment, the young woman had not been assaulted and no weapon was left behind.

Hyattsville City and Maryland State Police have no leads. So Nee has scraped money together to offer a $10,000 reward for information that will lead to arrest and conviction of the murderer.

Nee is not optimistic, however. Since the Oct. 26 slaying he has lost much of the hope that brought him to this country some 30 years ago.

During World War II, when China was fighting both the Japanese invaders and a civil war, Nee left to become an American. He got a job with the government in a sensitive bureau and built a life in a Maryland suburb, contented family life.

The oldest of his two daughters was Annette. As her father described her, Annettee was a joyful girl interested in horses and science. She entered college as a chemical engineering student.

Because her family lives in Montgomery County, Annette decided her second year in college to rent an apartment near campus rather than commute.

"I agreed with her. It is my one mistake. I let her live in an apartment by herself," Nee laments.

Safety was an issue - safety on the road commuting to school versus safety in a Prince George's County apartment building.The apartment was at 4410 Oglethorpe st., with a locked front door, a telephone security system and double locks on each apartment door. There had been no reports of crimes at the building.

Less than two months later someone entered that building and killed Annette Nee. It is, as Nee said, "the crime I read about in the newspaper and never pay attention to . . . now I see how we are the most powerful, advanced and civilized nation, on the earth, yet being murdered and mained senselessly in the street or in one's home is the daily fear."

Since Nee is a translator for the military he first thought the unthinkable and wondered if the murder might be some form of retribution but both he and the police dismissed that idea.

The letters were then sent by Nee to see if there was some hint of conflict in his daughter's life. There was none.

Finally, the only answer left is almost frivolous: a stranger, perhaps a mugger, simply murdered his daughter. Nee can not accept this.

"My family's pain," Nee explained. "is thinking, thinking, thinking why our daughter is dead. Who could want to kill her?"

And the unsolved murder, Nee continued, is impossible to live with. "I never know if the culprits will seek retribution against my family . . . if you do not know why the murder you do not know when the torment will end."