More than a year after a man is found murdered in his Coral Springs apartment, police are still in search of the killer - but a very specific shoe print has given detectives a new lead in the case.
Just after 1 a.m. on July 10, 2011, Michael Hamilton's body was discovered just inside his first floor apartment.
“I can’t imagine what my son went through," a tearful Cathy Hamilton-Green said. "I can’t imagine the brutality.”
The 31-year-old Hamilton had been brutally murdered, police said, stabbed multiple times in the chest and his throat cut.
“We walked in and there was blood everywhere, ” said Coral Springs Police Homicide Detective Brian Koenig.
Hamilton's roommate made the discovery. She told Det. Koenig she saw Hamilton around 9 p.m. the night before as he was returning home. She said he appeared sweaty and out of breath, possibly from playing basketball. She also said roughly $300 dollars in cash was missing from the apartment.
“He was attacked either upon opening the door or possibly upon hearing somebody outside and then, maybe came to the door," said Koenig.
The crime hit particularly close for one family member. Gerry Green is a former Miami Police officer, a detective with the homicide unit. He retired in 2001 after 33 years on the force. He has dealt with murders most of his life, but never so close as Hamilton was his stepson.
“I felt that Michael was probably targeted. I don’t think he was doing something that someone randomly saw and that an opportunist decided to do this to him,” Green said.
Green returned to the crime scene recently. He is quick to point out that by no means is he trying to solve the case. In fact, says he has the utmost confidence in Det. Koenig and his team. But he did find himself drawn back to the streets in his search for justice.
“I would love to jump in, but it’s not my job,” Green said. “This case has turned out to be what we call a 1 percent-er. A 1 percent-er is the cases that from the very first moment that the detective got on this scene, things didn’t get better.”
That seemed to be true until Det. Koenig came up with surveillance video showing Hamilton getting on and off several Broward County buses just hours before his death. It didn't appear he was followed.
“That’s a mystery to us," Koenig quipped. "We don’t know if something that he did throughout that day had an impact on him later and he got murdered.”
Now, more than a year later, Det. Koenig and his team got what could be a major break. Crime Scene Investigators discovered and lifted a bloody shoe print from the crime scene.
“We’re not talking about Air Jordan's. It is a fairly unique sneaker that not a lot of people owned,” Koenig said.
It's the Mega Torsion model made by Adidas. The killer, Koenig said, wore size a 10 ½ to 11 shoe. They are popular with people who play basketball and are on a tight budget. Hamilton fit the bill, as he often played pickup games at nearby Mullins Park.
“We definitely believe it’s a male," Koenig said.
Certainly a step in the right direction.