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2001 Howard County murder case still unsolved

Who killed Derrick Peterson?
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Posted at 5:00 AM, Jul 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 00:27:54-04

"It's been 15-years and I miss him terribly,” said Rosie Peterson.  “No one knows, not a day, night hour goes by that I don't think of Derrick."

Rosie keeps the memories of her 23-year-old son close to her heart.  But it's the unanswered questions that torture her mind.

"We have no answers, period.  We know what happened, we know someone did this, I don't have any answers, I don't have any resolution," she said.

Howard County Police released crime scene photos from back in 2001. 

The murder happened in the parking lot of The Seasons Apartments in Laurel, where the Peterson family lived.  It was around 9PM on December 17th, and Derrick had just parked his car.

"As he backed into his parking space, he exited his vehicle, somebody came up on him and immediately just shot him and dropped him where he was, basically just getting out of the car," Det. Sgt. Matthew Tanis with the Howard County Police Department said.

Derrick was hit twice, at point blank range.  He died on the street.     

Witnesses told investigators they heard gunshots and saw a man running with a trash bag.

"Witnesses said that a black male wearing a beige coat with a handgun was seen running from the area, but no further description was ever given," said Tanis.

Officers think Derrick was targeted, and he may have known his killer.

Over the last 15-years, investigators have followed up on numerous leads, but they still have very limited information.

"We're still not very clear on what happened that day,” Tanis said.  “Robbery was one theory, possibly drug related was another theory, so we've never been clear on this.  We're really no closer now then we were that night, and that's the hard part, you know, you want to bring justice for Ms. Peterson."

The murder haunts the entire family, and Rosie says she won't give up until she has justice and closure.

"I'm gonna stay on this until my last breath, because that was my child, my son, he did not deserve this, I didn't deserve this, my family did not deserve this."       

Up to a $10,000 reward is being offered in this case for any information that leads to the arrest of who killed Derrick Peterson.

Anyone with information is asked to call Howard County Police at 410-313-STOP.  Callers may remain anonymous.