Teenager's Murder is Still Unsolved

By: Denise Wong
By: Denise Wong

Reno, NV - He was a baby brother, a son, and a father to a three-week-old little girl when he was shot and killed just blocks from his home. And Ryan Connelly was just 17-years-old. Ten days after the homicide, Reno police still have made no arrests.

"He was my everything. He was just 17 and never got to drive. He never got to do anything and they took him. Senselessly. It was senseless," says Deana Crook, the mother of Ryan Connelly.

Connelly's mother wears a t-shirt of her son that shows off the smile he always had on his face.

"Ryan was an amazing kid. He smiled with his eyes first and then you got this great big grin," says Crook.

Today - that big grin is all over posters that Reno Police officers and Ryan Connelly's family members are passing out. They're looking for someone who can tell them exactly what happened on the night of July 7th, when the teenager walked into an apartment off Wedekind Road and Centennial Way and collapsed on the floor with a gunshot wound.

"He was just a 17-year-old walking home from a store," says Crook. "And he was shot."

The high school student lived just blocks away with his family. They say because he grew up in that neighborhood and dressed a certain way, people misjudged him.

"Since we live in the community that we live in, they automatically think you're part of some kind of gang or whatever else and my son was not. He was a good boy," says Crook.

"He'd come out to the house and we'd play video games all the time, play you know to the point I couldn't stay up anymore," says John Saderlund, his brother-in-law. "It's never gonna be the same without him."

"They will never ever know what they took away from us," says Aimee Stafford, Ryan Connelly's older sister.

He was a boy who always wanted to go into the Navy. His life was cut short, but his mother's hope lives on.

"I'm hoping somebody that knows something could come forward and help my son.
And help this family," says Crook.

Secret Witness is offering a $2,500 reward for information in this case that leads to an arrest. If you can help out, you're asked to give them a call at 322-4900. You can remain anonymous.


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