Jesse T. Brown was shot in the back two years ago by a white man driving a pickup.
That much of the unsolved homicide police know for sure.
The 24-year-old video game lover and wannabe rap artist was walking to the corner store on Lynnhaven Parkway, not far from his home on Millington Drive in Virginia Beach. His wife, a Navy enlistee, was out at a club with a friend.
Brown's family has been "suffering," as his father put it, that no one has been arrested.
But now they are equally perplexed at why Brown's insurance company is withholding a $100,000 payment: The company has identified Brown's wife, Aspen Smith, as a suspect in the homicide, which was news to everyone, including Smith.
Brown, the assistant manager at a video game store, was talking on his cell phone and walking to the corner store the night of Dec. 1, 2007. A white man in his 20s driving a black pickup stopped near Brown, asked for directions and then opened fire. Brown's friend, on the other end of the phone, heard the gunshots and then heard nothing.
Brown's father, Timothy Brown Sr. of Laurinburg, N.C., said he checks in with the investigator, Detective Ray Pickell, about once every other month, but the case has been cold for quite some time.
"I've been suffering trying to figure out what's been going on," he said.