Family seeks answers in decade-old murder

Posted at 1:23 AM, Mar 04, 2016

A family has wondered for 11 years who murdered David Neel; he was on his way back to the Florida Strawberry Festival to pick up cows, but he never made it because he was shot and killed on the highway.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office released a roughly 6 minute video about the cold case, hoping to generate tips.

Neel was murdered March 6, 2005. He was driving South on 75 in Zephyrhills, when detectives believe someone passing him fired a bullet. The bullet when through his door and it hit him on the left side of his chest, killing him.

Neel’s family said they are flooded with memories this time of year because they continue to show cows at the Florida Strawberry Festival.

“Why would someone do this in the first place,” Nicholas Hammer questioned.

Nicholas Hammer was 2 1/2 years old when his grandfather was killed. He is 13 now. He said it would mean a lot to him if his family finally got the closure they have desired for such a long time.

“(It would mean) that a lot of years of wondering and pain has finally gone away,” Nicholas Hammer said.

Anne Hammer is Nicholas' mother and David Neel’s daughter. She said her dad’s murder is a tragedy that has impacted them tremendously.

“We’re hopeful, but you don’t get your hopes up too high,” Anne Hammer said.

Anne Hammer said she has many memories of her father.

“He was just a funny guy. He had a good sense of humor and he was willing to help with anything. He loved being a grandfather,” she said.

Anne Hammer’s family is offering a $25,000 dollar reward to solve this case. Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is also offering up to $3,000 that leads to an arrest.

If you have any information about who murdered David Neel, call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 873-TIPS (8477).

For more information about the case and to share the video from Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's office, click on this link.