Police still searching for answers in 2012 double murder

TAMPA - Ben Kowalewski said there isn't a day that passes where he isn't haunted by the murder of his mother and aunt two years ago.

"It's like living it all over again," said Kowalewski.  "I can't sleep at night because of the nightmares that I have about what happened to them."

His mother, Linda Helms, 62, and her sister, Vicki Sterling, 54, were both shot in April 2012 in the North Tampa home they shared on Lotus Avenue.

"I know people know what it feels like to lose a loved one, but to lose someone like this and to not have closure?" says Kowalewski.

He's now taken his cause to the internet, recently starting a fundraiser (see http://www.gofundme.com/justiceforLindaVickie ).  He says he hopes he can increase the reward money already offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest.

"Everything that the police and detectives have found has all pointed to one person," said Kowalewski.

But a case with a great deal of circumstantial evidence and little physical evidence has left homicide detectives still searching for that person, according to case’s lead detective, Sgt. Chuck Massucci of the Tampa Police Department.

"It was one of the more horrific, assassination-type murders I have worked within my 11 years in homicide," said Sgt. Massucci, who actually continued working the case even after being promoted.

Sgt. Massucci said evidence shows the victims knew the person who killed them because there was no sign of forced entry. He also thinks someone close to the suspect probably knows something about the murders. 

Massucci and his team are hoping someone comes forward with information.

"We're sort of in a holding pattern depending on physical evidence, biological evidence and the community coming forward," said Massucci.

For Kowalewski, every step of every day has been filled with the thought of his slain mother and aunt and the person responsible. Why would someone do this and who is that person?

"We as a family just want to bring him to justice somehow," said Kowalewski.

If you know anything about this case, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-873-TIPS. No bit of information is too small according to detectives. You can remain anonymous and you could earn a cash reward.

If you would like to donate to the families fund to increase the reward, visit gofundme.com/justiceforlindavicki .

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