Crime Watch Daily joins forces with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive in Michigan as agents try to identify the killer who gunned down corrections officer Clarence Hammond outside his apartment. And the investigation has hit very close to home.
Everyone who knew Clarence Hammond, 33, adored him. So who on Earth would want Clarence dead?
On that fateful night Hammond and his girlfriend were returning to their apartment in Madison Heights, Michigan, when, according to police, she saw a man coming toward them.
"He wanted them to empty their pockets," said Hammond's father. "He tried to make it look as though it was a robbery. But it wasn't a robbery."
Crime Watch Daily Detroit affiliate WXYZ reported the suspect fired one shot, hitting Hammond in the head, instantly killing him.
Police released a composite sketch of a man they want to talk to in connection with the murder.
"There were demands made, yes. However, there was nothing taken," said Madison Heights Police Sgt. Marc Zupic. "I don't believe that this was the intent of the gunman, that it was an intent to rob him. I believe the intent was to kill him."
Sergeant Zupic says at first, detectives were operating under the theory that someone ordered a hit on Hammond because of his job at the prison. But none of those leads panned out. Eventually the investigation took a much more sinister turn.
“An assassination. And for the purposes of something very personal, for the benefit of getting Clarence Hammond out of their life,” said Zupic.
Detectives and Hammond's own parents believe the killer may in fact be someone much closer to home. Cops have several suspects and one of them is Hammond's ex-wife Tabitha Moore.
"The very first thing that went through my mind is that his ex wife had set him up," said Hammond's father. "It was a custody battle for the kids and she knew she was about to lose the kids."
About a month before the murder, records reportedly show Clarence Hammond called police after his ex-wife allegedly assaulted him during a visit at their son's doctor's office.
Moore was later charged with domestic assault and battery, but prosecutors dropped the case after Hammond was killed.
Is Moore the only suspect?
“No,” said Sgt. Zupic. “I believe that Tabitha Moore had an active part in this, or the planning of it.”
WXYZ reports that in police records, Moore accused Clarence Hammond of sexually abusing their sons, ages 4 and 5. Child Protective Services determined that Moore was coaching the boys. Hammond was cleared after he passed a polygraph test.
As the investigation unfolds, friends and family gather near the spot where the man with such a gentle soul was viciously gunned down.
Tabitha Moore has not been charged with any crime, because at this point police say they don't have any physical evidence tying her to the murder.
WXYZ has reached out several times to Moore, but she has not returned the calls. She's since moved out of state with the children, leaving Hammond's parents to suffer in a prison of pain.
If you have any information about this, please contact Madison Heights Police at 248-837-2737 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. They are offering a $2,500 reward.