KING COUNTY -- The family of a man shot and killed in a car with his friend just over six months ago in Skyway wants to set the record straight after he was falsely labeled as a police informant.
It's a double murder mystery that King County Sheriff's detectives are still working to solve as they try to crack the inner circle of those who know who killed them.
Deputies found 29-year-old Lanice Walker and 37-year-old Leonard Haywood Jr. shot to death in a vehicle on 68th Avenue on Oct. 11.
"It's been hard," Lanice's cousin Erica Daniels said.
Lanice's cousins use words like joyful, kind, patient and helpful to describe her. She was working as an in-home caregiver for a sick family member.
"She had a beautiful smile. She was such an easy going person, like really happy," Daniels said.
Her family says she and Leonard were friends who were just running errands that day.
"My child, you didn't just kill him," Haywood's father Leonard Haywood Sr. said. "You took a part of me."
"My whole life, just ripped from under me," his mother Carolyn Haywood said.
By all accounts, Leonard was known as an easy-going and popular guy, but he did have some run-ins with the law. He was arrested last year along with dozens of others as part of an undercover operation targeting drug and gang violence, but detectives say he was a minor player. When he got of jail, though, rumors started that Leonard was a snitch.
"Somebody out there hating on him, jealous of him because my son is not a snitch and I just want the world to know that Leonard Lee Haywood Jr. was not wired and was not taped," Carolyn Haywood said.
Detectives say Leonard was absolutely not working as an informant.
"It did not happen. I've spoken with the special agents and the Seattle Police and the AUSA, the Assistant U.S. Attorney on the case, and in no way did he cooperate whatsoever," said King County Sheriff's Detective Matt Olmstead.
In fact, Leonard's day in court was coming. An indictment on drug charges was planned in November.
Detectives scoured the neighborhood where the shooting happened to look for witnesses. They found surveillance video from a store down the street that shows Leonard shopping just 20 minutes before he and Lanice were killed, but nothing unusual stood out. While they won't detail everything they know yet, detectives say there was more than one shooter. "I bet you there are a ton of people who know what happened here, a lot of people know. I need that break," said Det. Olmstead.
"They stole a beautiful soul from her family," said Lanice's cousin Shacre Norris.
Lanice's family is justifiably angry.
"We want answers," Norris said. "We deserve answers."
"It's so senseless," Daniels said. "I just think we are dealing with a world today that so many people don't care about their own lives that they can just take somebody else's."
All because of a false rumor.
"As a parent, put yourself in my shoes," Leonard Haywood Sr. said. "Would you want to hold back if I knew something about your child's murder? What would you expect of me? So do what you expect of me, what I expect of you as a human being."
Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case. Washington's Most Wanted host David Rose is personally adding $2,000 cash to the reward so you will receive $3,000 If you can help investigators solve this case. Submit an anonymous tip at www.P3Tips.com or by using the P3Tips App on your cell phone. You can also call 1-800-222-TIPS. You never have to give your name.