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Police continue searching for leads in 2015 Tacoma homicide

Steven Speakman, a 26-year-old with intellectual disabilities was found shot multiple times less than a block away from his Hilltop neighborhood apartment.

TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma Police Department is still searching for leads in an unsolved murder case from eight years ago.

The body of 26-year-old Steven Speakman was found along Martin Luther King Way on Nov. 3, 2015, just after 6 a.m.

Speakman was intellectually disabled and functioned at the level of a 10-year-old. He was shot multiple times less than a block away from his apartment. Detectives have not identified a suspect. 

His family spoke at a news conference on Thursday in the hopes that someone who knows something will come forward.

"Steven was a very loving child, everyone knew him. He walked everywhere. He wouldn’t hurt a fly," said his mother, Kimberly Nystrom. "He didn’t deserve this."

Speakman was well-known in his community and often walked around his neighborhood. It was not uncommon for him to be out walking early in the morning.

“I’ve seen him with perfect strangers just talking, then a little while later he’s hugging them," said Speakman's grandfather, Dan Anderson. "They’re just so happy to have met him.” 

His family said there were more than 300 people who attended his funeral back in 2015. It was standing room only.

“There’s nothing that Steven could have done to deserve what happened to him,” his sister, Selina Ramirez, said.

All of the family members at Thursday's conference echoed the same sentiment: someone knows something.

“We just need somebody who knows somebody, who knows somebody, to start talking,” Speakman's aunt Stephanie Dahlberg said.

Julie Dier, a detective with the Tacoma Police Department, said multiple people have been ruled out as suspects and the murder weapon has not been recovered.

Dier said she hopes the conference will lead to new information.

“If it’s fresh in our minds, it might be fresh in other people’s minds,” Dier said.

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