Family makes new push for answers in New Year's Eve murder



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Posted on April 25, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Stephen Jeffries, Junior was a family man and a longtime employee of Seattle Public Utilities.  He was shot and killed on New Year's Eve of last year.  After four months with few leads in the case, his family is making a new push for answers.

The 40-year-old father of four was murdered at a house party on December 31, 2013.  He'd stopped by after being invited by a friend, and had only planned to stay for a few minutes.  He was supposed to meet his daughters and the rest of his family to ring in 2014.

"Ten minutes before my dad actually got shot I texted him and I said hey are you on your way," said his daughter, Denise Jeffries-Berg.  "He said I'll be there in about ten minutes."

That was the last time Denise spoke to her father.

Seattle Police say a fight of some kind broke out at the party.  The reason behind that fight is still unknown, and despite the fact that the murder happened at a party full of people and there had to be witnesses to the shooting, no one has come forward with information.

The family believes Stephen was attacked just moments after arriving at the party.

"What if it was your dad or your kids, or what if it was you and your kids are left to hurt," said Denise.  "It's not fair."

She is sharing the story of her father's life and death in hopes of keeping his case in the public eye.  The family feels someone out there knows something.

"If it helps lead to an arrest it doesn't make you a snitch, it makes you a hero," Denise said.  "This man lost his life.  He doesn't get to see his children grow."

His youngest daughter is just four years old.

The family is holding a fundraiser on Saturday, April 26th, to raise money for the reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

It will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Puerto Vallarta Restaurant on California Avenue in West Seattle.

A candlelight vigil is also planned for May 1st at 7:30 p.m.  It will take place on the 9200 block of 16th Avenue Southwest in White Center, where the shooting occurred.

"We're not giving up on him," said Denise. 

Seattle Police say the case remains an open and active investigation.  People can leave anonymous tips by calling the homicide tipline at (206) 233-5000.