Special Reports

9 Investigates: Unsolved quadruple murder in south Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers responded to one of the worst murder scenes in the city's history just before 6 a.m. the day after Easter, 2008.

CMPD detectives rushed to the Tree Top Apartments in south Charlotte after a neighbor found the bodies of four people inside apartment W.

Neighbors stood by in shock as they watched investigators in protective suits walk through the complex. Dozens of SWAT officers emerged from behind buildings -- but there were no suspects in sight.

Days later, police released the names of the four victims: William Royster, 46, who lived at the apartment, 33-year-old Timothy Stone, Andrew Babyak and his girlfriend, Cherilyn Crawford.

Cherilyn Crawford's father, John Crawford, was at work that day when he got the news.

IMAGES: 2008 unsolved quadruple murder in south Charlotte

"Somebody broke in or charged in and shot all four of them, execution- style," said John Crawford.

"Anytime you respond to a call where you have four individuals, that's something that's different. That's not the norm for us," said CMPD Capt. Cecil Brisbon.
Nearly seven years later, John Crawford and his family still have very little peace.
"It's hard. The first few years were real hard. I'd cry from time to time," Crawford said.
The pain is still fresh because he doesn't know who killed his daughter and the other three victims. John Crawford also wonders what his daughter was doing at the apartment in the first place.

Neighbors told Channel 9 back then there was a history of drug activity at the complex. Brisbon thinks the killer -- or killers -- knew at least one of the victims.

In the days following the murders, Brisbon said homicide detectives received numerous tips, but then the case went cold. Now he says new details have emerged.

"We actually have a person of interest in the case right now, so there's somebody we're looking at," he said.
Brisbon said his investigators are now making sure they have all the pertinent details together before they present the case to the district attorney. He does not have a timetable as to how long that will take.
John Crawford, meanwhile, holds tightly to the memories of his daughter. He hopes police are close to making an arrest in the case. He knows someone out there knows something that will finally bring his daughter's killer to justice.

"I hope with all my heart someone will come forward and I know if they do, they'll feel better about themselves," he said.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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