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I-Team: Mother of murder victim seeks justice as killer remains unknown


EDWARDSVILLE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The mother of a Monroe County man murdered last year is making an emotional plea for justice.

She is asking the public’s help in catching her son’s killer. 29-year-old John Robert Evans was shot to death and his friend was wounded when someone opened fire last June in Edwardsville.

Witnesses say that Evans never stood a chance when the gunman opened fire on him as he sat inside an SUV in a parking lot at the Hilltop Apartments. Now his mother, Heather Evans, wants justice and the killer captured.

“What I want to say, that you’re a coward for what you’ve done. You took my son away from me and you need to turn yourself in,” Evans said.

Evans cried as she spoke directly to the yet unidentified person who shot and killed her 29-year-old son John Robert Evans and wounded his friend, 26-year-old Eli Quadree Smith. Smith survived his injuries.

It happened in the early morning hours of June 6th 2020. Investigators say a man walked up to the SUV in a parking lot in the Hilltop Apartments and spoke briefly to Evans. Then without warning pulled out a gun and opened fire.

Evans died at the scene. State troopers spent days searching for evidence at the scene and nearby apartments. Nearly nine months later, the search for the killer continues.

“I’m sickened by that because I thought he would be behind bars right now and he’s out loose somewhere. We don’t know where he is and he hasn’t been captured. I’m just really upset over that,” Evans said.

She is asking anyone with information about the murder to come forward.

“All I want to say is if you know something just please come forward and speak to the state police that is on the case and just give your information. Please I beg you,” Evans said.

Evans says her son was full of life and didn’t deserve to die the way that he did.

“John was a good person. He had a very big heart. He loved people, he loved his family, he loved playing basketball. He played for his church. He was a good person,” Evans said.

When asked what was the last thing she said to John, Evans replied: “The day he left he said ‘I love you’ and I said ‘I love you too’ and that was the last words to each other.”

State police investigators tell the I-Team that they are working several leads and the case is moving forward despite, what they describe as the lack of cooperation from people who are close to Evans and other witnesses who were there that night.

If you have any information about the murder, you are urged to call state police.

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