Detective works to get justice for Purple Heart recipient Army veteran

State Attorney's Office wouldn't prosecute case

SANFORD, Fla. – Keran Stanislaus, a 24-year old father of four and Army veteran, survived combat, came home with a Purple Heart medal and was killed in a driveway in his hometown by a "friend."

Sanford police investigator Matthew Walker said the night of April 17, 2013, Stanislaus was hanging out with four people he knew -- some friends, some relatives -- in Sanford's Placid Woods subdivision. 

There was a fight and someone shot and killed Stanislaus. He was shot in the front, from the direction of the garage door. 

"He was shot head-on," Walker said. "Nothing from the back, no drive-by shooting."

Walker interviewed everyone who he believes was at the scene but no one told the truth initially.

"They all gave different stories and were proven to be inconsistent," Walker said. "Everything from a drive-by, to they picked up one of the people and took them somewhere else, to that they came upon the scene and discovered this. Just all different stories."

Eventually, Walker built a case based on the witness statements, phone records and surveillance video from a neighbor's house that showed the group coming and going. He sent the case to the State Attorney's Office, asking prosecutors to press charges against a single suspected shooter.

They declined.

Walker said the SAO didn't believe it could obtain a conviction because the witnesses weren't credible and there was no murder weapon or surveillance video of the shooting.

Walker is certain the suspect he identified is Stanislaus' murderer.

Walker continues to search for new, credible witnesses who could strengthen the case and lead to prosecution and a conviction to get justice for Stanislaus.

"He's a veteran of the Army," Walker said. "And I think that's why I took a particular interest in this case because I'm also a veteran, I served in the Marine Corps. He was an Army veteran, served his country. He served his time in the military, come back here to his hometown, survived all the war and come back here to be killed here in his own city by people that were known to him. That's why I took a particular interest in this case."

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