It's been nearly a year since a woman and her son found the bloodied body of a 42-year-old man in the driveway of his Southeast Raleigh home.
The trail police hoped would lead them to Terrance Rondell Bryant's killer has grown cold.
A detective investigating Bryant's death participated in a candlelight vigil Thursday night to ask for the public's help in finding his killer, whose motive may have been robbery, according to a 911 recording released Friday by the Raleigh Police Department.
A woman who found Bryant outside his one-story, red-brick home in the 1200 block of Blarney Court last December told an emergency dispatcher that it appeared someone had dragged him from his car. She found him lying on his back, with his arms raised above the head, behind several cars parked in the driveway.
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"It looks like they tried to hide him. He wasn't supposed to be found until morning," said the 911 caller, whose name was not made public. "His pockets are out of his pants. They robbed him."
The woman told the dispatcher that Bryant's body must have been in the driveway for hours because the blood that had pooled on the sidewalk behind his head and body had dried. Blood was also on his mouth and shirt. His eyes were "wide open," the woman told the dispatcher.
Bryant, a father of four and grandfather of a nearly one-year-old girl, was struck several times by gunfire, according to an autopsy report from the state medical examiner's office in Raleigh.
A state pathologist determined a gunshot wound in Bryant's upper back killed him. He was also struck once in the abdomen. A third gunshot that grazed Bryant's right wrist may have been the result of one of the other gunshots, according to the autopsy.
Bryant loved motorcycles. As it turned dark Thursday evening, several bikers arrived at the end of the cul-de-sac where Bryant's body was found in the early morning hours of Dec. 7 last year.
Candles and prayer
More bikers, along with Bryant's friends and family, arrived. The group lit candles in Bryant's memory before his cousin, Jeff Carmon, led the group of about 30 people in prayer.
Carmon said he and Bryant grew up together and were more like brothers than cousins. He noted that it has been more than 10 months since his cousin died and that the family hopes someone will share information that may lead to an arrest.
"We want someone to come forward so the family can have closure and heal," Carmon said. "He was the light in all our lives. There's an enormous amount of violence in our country. It is our hope and desire to keep his memory alive. Not only his life, but all lives are important."
Bryant's younger sister, Da'Meka Hines of Raleigh, said she spoke with her brother just hours before he died. He was planning to give her 18-year-old son a car.
"He was very, very family-oriented. He loved his kids," Hines said before she broke down in tears. "Today, my daughter talked about how, on her birthday, he always took her out to eat and they were not going to have their special day this year."
Investigators have not spoken publicly about a possible motive for the homicide. But one year before Bryant was killed, police found him in possession of 11.2 pounds of marijuana. Bryant was charged on Dec. 12, 2012, with marijuana trafficking and maintaining a dwelling place for the sale of a controlled substance.
The disposition of that case was unavailable Friday night.
A Raleigh detective working Bryant's homicide, Eric Gibney, described the police investigation as "frustrating.
"We are working it everyday," Gibney said. "But things are not progressing like we would like it to at this point. That's why we're out here."
Police ask anyone with information that might assist the investigation to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-4357 or visit www.raleighcrimestoppers.org for text and e-mail reporting options.
News researcher Peggy Neal contributed to this report.