It’s been three years since a masked gunman kicked down the front door of a home on Chartsey Street in Kettering and fatally shot 17-year-old Amber Stanley while she was in bed.
To this day, county homicide detectives are still looking for her killer.
Stanley’s death on Aug. 22, 2012 shocked the entire community. Not only was she a teenager who was murdered in her own home, but that school year, her fatal shooting became the first in a series of six unrelated deaths of Prince George’s County students. The killings sparked fear and concern throughout the community.
When the gunman kicked in the front door of Stanley’s house, Amber’s older sister and a foster child were also in the house. According to a source close to the investigation, “The gunman said nothing and went directly up the steps to the bedroom. It looked like he knew where to go. He then came down the steps after shooting Amber and fled the scene.”
For the next several days, police and cadets searched the neighborhood for any type of evidence, but nothing was found.
Just a few days after Stanley’s death, Police Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department promised, at a press conference at police headquarters, Stanley’s death will be solved and someone would be arrested.
A year passed and no one was arrested.
Then, last year Capt. Jimmy Simms, head of the department’s homicide unit, said “We believe that we are in the best position that we’ve been in the last two years of this investigation. We’re hopeful that as this investigation plays out, we will see a successful conclusion.”
However, three years later no arrests have been made. And now homicide detectives are refusing to answer any questions. They have said in a statement that “it is an ongoing investigation and will continue to follow leads.”
That explanation is not good enough for Amber’s sister, who declined to have her name released in fear of any retaliation.
“It seems like the police are not doing anything about my sister’s death,” Amber’s sister said. “We call them and they have nothing to tell us. We need to move on, but it’s hard.”
Irma Gaither, Amber’s mother, has had to deal with the lack of closure and her frustration continues to grow with each passing day.
“I am frustrated with the police” Gaither said. “We asked them to attend what would have been my daughter’s graduation and pass out flyers, but they refused. They never keep me informed of what is happening. I just wish someone will tell me something. I lost my daughter.”
Charles H. Flowers Principal Gorman Brown recalled his time with Stanley.
“Amber was an honor student here at Charles H. Flowers High School and aspired to attend Harvard University to become a doctor,” Brown said. “Losing Amber is losing one of our future leaders.”
It is said that time heals all wounds. Unfortunately for Gaither, her wound is constantly being reopened.
“At least two or three times a week someone always asks me if I have heard anything. Do I know anything,” Gaither said. “I would like for someone or whoever knows anything to just come forward and help us get the case solved.”
Anyone with information about Stanley’s murder is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimes Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to http://www.pgcrimesolvers.com to submit a tip online.