INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- On July 1, 2008, Edward “Billy” Hill was in the midst of making multiple bad decisions that would eventually cost him his life.
He had removed a court-ordered tracking device from his ankle and had an outstanding warrant for probation violation, been fronted $5,000 from a friend in St. Louis to buy some drugs, hooked up with a family member to acquire the narcotics and agreed to meet three men in the 3400 block of North Caroline Avenue, all in an ill-fated attempt to support his family.
“He was a good guy and getting more and more desperate,” said girlfriend Jennifer Hall. “Edward was not a drug dealer.”
Unfortunately for Hill, IMPD Cold Case investigators think he was walking into a trap.
“It wasn’t gonna be a drug deal at all,” said Detective Greg West. “It was gonna be a 'rip.' They were gonna rob that guy for his dope, a thousand dollars worth of dope, and whatever money was on him.”
Neighborhood witnesses told police they saw three men approach Hill’s 1994 white GMC Suburban; a struggle broke out and there were two shots.
“I know Edward,” said Hall. “He probably went for the gun.”
Hill’s aunt, Kim Townsend, told police she happened to be in the neighborhood getting her car worked on when she spotted the robbery going down.
“She alleges she came in after the shooting,” said West, reading through the notes of the original detective on the case. “She saw three guys up there, she came up and they took off running and one of them threatened to shoot her and called her by her street name is what she claims.”
Townsend’s street name was “Stormy” and she later sued IMPD and Marion County sheriff's deputies for roughing her up during an unrelated fleeing and resisting arrest.
West said someone close to Hill set him up in the deal and may have split the profits of the "rip" with his killers.
“The family can solve these cases if they would step up, come up in this office and sit down with us cold case detectives and say, 'This is what happened, we were here and this is who the players are in the game,’” said West. “You know when you got a case like this that is 10 years old, some people are more apt to talk about this now than they were when it first originally happened. And you’d be surprised after 10 years what people still know.”
Hall said she was told by Hill’s family, “We can’t bring Billy back.”
“This is my children’s family,” said Hall. “I am going to see justice for him.”
IMPD Cold Case detectives have the files of more than 900 unsolved killings in their office. Last year they were able to close one case.
“We don’t care what kind of stuff they’re into,” said West. “We just want to know what’s going on so we know what direction to go to.”
If you have any information about the murder of Edward Hill, your tip could be worth a $1,000 reward. Contact Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.