WASHINGTON – More than two years after the mysterious killing of a World Bank retiree in his living room, his murder is still unsolved. Now his family is offering a $25,000 reward in hopes it will generate a lead.
“For our family, there will always be an empty chair at the dinner table,” said Susie Paul-de Leede who fought back tears talking about her father-in-law Johan de Leede. She called him the rock of their family.
“He was one of the kindest, thoughtful, loving person you could ever imagine,” Paul-de Leede said at a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 7 on what would have been the victim’s 59th wedding anniversary.
The 83-year-old was shot through his living room window in the early morning in March 11, 2016. Since then, Detective John Vickery with Fairfax County Police said there has only been one clue; a dark-colored Ford pickup truck, possibly an F-250, with its lights off was spotted speeding out of the Lorton neighborhood around the time of the shooting.
Neighbors heard the shooting and came outside shortly after however, Vickery said there were no reports of seeing anyone leaving the area on foot, or on the water. And no weapon was recovered.
“It’s very rare that we don’t have anything,” Vickery said.
A native of the Netherlands, de Leede moved to the U.S. in the 1970s with his wife and four children to work as an economist for the World Bank. They bought a property on the water in Lorton in the 1990s, Paul-de Leede said.
De Leede had no enemies, Vickery said. There were no threats against him of any kind and cell phone and digital records have not turned up any leads.
“He’d been retired for 20 years. It’s not like he went to work or even left his backyard … There’s really no other outside factors to come up with a motive,” Vickery said.
Working with Crimesolvers, the family is launching a $25,000 reward campaign in hopes of generating new leads for the case gone cold.
“Please help us. Somebody, somewhere knows something. We need answers,” Paul-de Leede said.
Anyone with information related to this event is asked to contact Detective Vickery at 703-246-7865. Tips can be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by visiting http://www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org, or calling 1-866-411-TIPS. They can also be sent in via text by texting “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES (274637).
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