Butler County Times Gazette
  • Westwood's only homicide remains unsolved

  • The only homicide in the Kansas City suburb of Westwood remains unsolved, but authorities say they're still investigating the crime that took place a decade ago.
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  • The only homicide in the Kansas City suburb of Westwood remains unsolved, but authorities say they're still investigating the crime that took place a decade ago.
    David "Ray" Ninemire, a 68-year-old father of four and grandfather to 10, was shot and killed Aug. 15, 2003, during an attempted robbery at the Westwood grocery store where he worked, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/1d9QqBk ).
    With the 10th anniversary of Ninemire's killing, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office says it's making a renewed push to solve the crime. The reward fund stands at $21,000.
    Becky Crabtree, lead detective on the case, says investigators have recent leads to follow and will revisit previous clues and re-interview witnesses to the shooting.
    "We need to solve this for the family," Crabtree said. "It makes you want to work so much harder."
    Ninemire was just a few minutes from heading home when the gunman entered the store and confronted a cashier, who screamed. As Ninemire rushed to help her, the robber, his face hidden by a fake beard, turned and fired, hitting Ninemire with a shot that severed the femoral artery in his leg. The gunman then walked out of the store and last was seen walking north.
    It was a traumatic event in the city of about 1,500 people bordering both Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., said Bill Kostar, who was Westwood's mayor at the time.
    "It was a terrible tragedy and a terrible shock for everybody in the community," Kostar said.
    Despite years of investigation and more than 200 leads, the killer's identity remains a mystery.
    For Phyllis Ninemire, the decade since her husband of 44 years died has been like "living through a nightmare."
    "I just don't understand that people who know something won't help us," she said. "I never dreamed it would be 10 years."

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