In the year since Brett Simmons’ murder, police interviewed over 150 people, searched dozens of phones for evidence, and followed countless other leads.
That hasn’t yet led to the two men who entered the Simmons home last year and left Brett, a well-liked 23-year-old, fatally shot in his bedroom.
Simmons’ father, James Simmons, who was in the family’s Clearview Road house that night, told police he encountered two men in Brett’s bedroom and struggled with them, being shot in the process.
The two intruders, who wore clothing of some sort over their faces, escaped the home, likely, in a vehicle needed for a getaway through a rural section of Clay Township.
Detective Theresa Stauffer, of Northern Lancaster County Regional police, has explored numerous avenues and leads in the killing, which happened a year ago this Friday. Detectives from surrounding police departments and District Attorney Craig Stedman’s office assisted along the way.
They interviewed an estimated 160 people, scoured cellphones and signal towers for a call or message tied to the home-invasion killing.
Not every lead has been exhausted, she said, confident there are individuals with information that could yield arrests.
“It hasn’t even gone cold. It’s still a very active case for me,” Stauffer said recently, noting she did interviews in the case just days ago.
Anyone with information is urged to call police at 717-733-0965. Callers don’t have to give their names. Also, Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward, up to $1,000, for information that leads to an arrest. Tips can be left there at 800-322-1913.
Persons of interest have been developed in the case, Stauffer said, but were either cleared or are still under the umbrella of her ongoing investigation.
There are no neighbors who live close to the Simmons home at 580 Clearview Road. The ones who live closest have been interviewed; they heard and saw nothing.
Surveillance cameras at businesses on nearby Route 322 were checked, but provided few leads.
Police, and Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman, believe it’s more than likely that drugs played a role and robbery was a motive in the killing.
Stauffer hasn’t found any evidence that things were taken from the home. Items in Brett’s bedroom weren’t disturbed.
He was shot in the chest, as was his father, who was critically wounded, but has since returned to work.
Brett’s brother, Blake Simmons, told police he was downstairs when he heard gunshots from upstairs. He said he struck one of the intruders with a Lava Lamp.
Brett Simmons was a 2009 Ephrata High School graduate who went on to take some classes at Temple University and Harrisburg Area Community College. He was working at a Lancaster city restaurant at the time of his death. Stauffer said he was viewed as a “loving son and brother” with a lot of friends.
She hasn’t identified a single known enemy of Brett’s. But it is believed the males, described as light-skinned and of average build, specifically targeted the Simmons home and knew the house layout.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org