Inside the Evidence: Family of murdered grandmother begs for justice

March 01, 2018 07:12 AM

Rochester Police are still working to solve the murder of an elderly woman killed nearly 22 years ago.

News10NBC took you inside the evidence of the Horrie Lee Hardaway murder with investigators last week. Now the family is speaking out, and some of the victim's children believe their own relative is the killer. 

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"It's just hard. It's very, very difficult," said Donald Hardaway, Jr. through tears.

He was just 16 years old when his grandmother was killed in her apartment at Plymouth Gardens in Rochester. 

"I'd like for it to come to an end, you know?" said Hardaway, Jr. 

The family has been haunted by the crime since Nov. 19, 1996.

"It hit me so hard to find out that she was killed," said Donald Hardaway, Sr. 

His 75-year-old mother was found dead -- lying on the floor of her small one-bedroom apartment. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. 

"I've been actually heartbroken ever since that day," said Fred Hardaway. "I can't believe that anyone that knew my mother could do this to her. I can't believe that." 

The day after the murder the family says the word on the street was a relative killed her. News10NBC is not naming the person because he has never been charged. 

"Until they say he did it, until he admits it, there ain't nothing I can do about it," said Donald Hardaway, Sr. "He was on drugs so maybe the drugs made him do it. I don't know. I can't read into nobody's mind that's that evil."

At the crime scene, the family says a picture of Hardaway was turned upside down on her television, and a pillow was placed over her head. Police also believe she opened her door for the suspect and nothing substantial was taken from the apartment. That leads them to believe she knew her killer. 

However, Fred Hardaway doesn't believe a family member is responsible. 

"I don't believe in my heart -- I don't want to believe that," said Fred Hardaway. "It's going to come to the light."

"I know that it's getting closer," added Donald Hardaway, Sr. "I know sooner or later it's going to come forth."

The family says this case should have been solved years ago, but they believe there will be justice. 

"They took the only woman who ever truly loved me from me," said Fred Hardaway. "One of God's angels. The best." 

Rochester Police say they still have possible suspects in this cold case, but they won't name them. Someone out there knows who killed Horrie Lee Hardaway.

If you have any information, you're asked to call RPD's Major Crimes Unit at (585) 428-7157.


Nikki Rudd

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