On Aug. 22, 2012, a masked man kicked down the door of a house on Chartsey Street in Prince George’s County and fatally shot 17-year-old Amber Stanley in her bed.
The Charles H. Flowers High School student was starting her senior year of high school with dreams of going to Harvard and becoming a doctor. She would have been a sophomore in college this fall.
Two years after her slaying, the teen’s death remains a mystery, but Prince George’s police say they are closer than ever to solving the case.
“We feel like we’re finally on the path we’re looking for to close this case,” said Capt. Jimmy Simms, assistant commander of the department’s Criminal Investigations Division and head of the homicide unit.
Police updated the media on the investigation Thursday as the anniversary of Amber’s death approaches Friday. But officials’ “hands are somewhat tied” when it comes to releasing new details as “it’s a very active murder investigation,” said Prince George’s County police spokeswoman Julie Parker.
Amber’s death was significant, not just because she was a girl killed in her bed in her own home. That school year, her fatal shooting became the first in a series of six unrelated deaths of Prince George’s County students, killings that sparked fear and concern in the community.
Of those six cases, police have made arrests in all but two. Amber’s case and the shooting of Aaron Kidd, a Suitland High School student who was killed Feb. 19, 2013 while hanging out with friends outside of an apartment complex in Forestville.
Here’s an update on the other four cases:
Marckel Ross, 18, died Sept. 11, 2012. Ross was a Central High School student who was fatally shot while walking to school. Earlier this month, a jury convicted 21-year-old Travon Bennett of second-degree murder and armed robbery in Ross’s death. Bennett, who has not yet been sentenced, faces a possible life in prison without parole.
Eliezer Reyes, 14, died Dec. 5, 2012. Eliezer was killed in a drive-by shooting as he was walking along a Lewisdale street with two people believed to be gang members, authorities said. Luis Carlos Guzman-Ventura, 20, and Jose Luis Rodriguez-Nunez, 25, were arrested in connection with Eliezer’s slaying. Federal prosecutors have taken over the case because Guzman-Ventura and Rodriguez-Nunez are alleged MS-13 members, according to the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Marcus Jones, 16, died Jan. 20, 2013. Marcus was shot outside of a Fort Washington house party as two rival gangs got into a dispute, authorities said. Akil Darnell Ings, 19, was found guilty of second-degree murder in February in Marcus’s shooting and was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Charles Walker, Jr., 15, died Feb. 18, 2013. Charles was a Suitland High School student killed as he was being robbed of a pair of Timberland boots he had for his girlfriend, police say. Five people were arrested in connection to his death, with a trial in the case scheduled for September.