CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Six months after a Charlotte man was murdered over 20-dollars, there is renewed hope to find Matt Hawkins' killer.
Police say they don't have any fresh leads they can act on, but they wanted me to re-open the case because they believe someone nearby knows more than they've been telling.
Matt's father, Bud Hawkins, showed me the house on 17th street Matt had been renovating last summer.
"Did most of it himself with a little outside help," said Bud Hawkins, "but that's what Matt liked to do."
Matt was good with his hands, but his father says, he was even better with his heart.
He loved his now five-year old son Liam, but he also had a passion for helping the poor. This 39 year old former New York stock broker worked soup kitchens and taught Sunday school.
He renovated houses, his father says, not for profit-- but to make his community better.
"It's been six months and it's just like it happened yesterday. Hard to be in this house and Matt was a very special son."
On a hot day last July, Matt's girlfriend stopped by to take him to lunch. A stranger walked in, wanting money.
She gave him her $20 lunch money. But Matt told him his wallet is in his truck.
"The robber didn't believe him and said I want more, and at that point, things happened."
The stranger shot Matt in the face, then ran.
After the shooting, police know the killer ran up a hill towards McDowell street, made a right turn and headed for a nearby greenway.
Detective Jackie Carter says police dogs tracked his scent, but lost him in the woods.
"We strongly believe it's someone who's familiar with this neighborhood. Because some streets are cut off, we believe it's someone who not only knows this neighborhood, they know that Matt typically works on this house and the door's open."
For Matt's family, the nightmare won't end until the killer is caught.
"We're not vindictive. We'd just like him off the streets. We don't want anyone else to go thru it."
The reward to find Matt Hawkins' killer is up to $10,000. Please call Crime Stoppers at (704) 334-1600 and you don't have to leave your name. Or, download the new Crime Stoppers app for your smart phone. You can get it free on our website, wbtv.com/crimestoppers.