SURREY - A 12-year-old girl is pleading for help to solve her dad's murder.
Lexus Burkholder-Whitmee, who was nine years old when her dad Christopher Roy Whitmee, 34, was shot dead at the Legacy Show Lounge in Cloverdale, hopes someone out there with a heart can help ease her pain.
"Whoever did this to my dad and to my family is out there somewhere just living their life like everyone else," she said. "Maybe even having fun times and doing things with their own kids, and it's because of them that I'll never get to do that again with my dad."
Lexus was supposed to be staying with her dad on the night of May 16, 2009, but opted for a sleepover with a friend instead. His night now free, Chris ended up at the club, where he was shot dead in the washroom.
Police do not believe he was the intended target. The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team think they know whom the shooter was trying to hit but won't release the name.
"My dad won't be there for my 13th birthday, my 16th birthday, my graduation or my wedding," Lexus, now 12, said Wednesday. "I have to miss out on a lot of things that most kids don't even have to think about because of someone else's decision to go out with a gun that night.
"I miss him every day," she said. "I want to know the person who stole my dad from me is locked away.
"How would you feel if something like that happened to your family and you didn't know what happened to your dad?"
After Chris Whitmee was shot, a man in his early 20s was seen running out through a rear door and into an alley. It was at about 11 p.m.
Minutes later, there was a hit-and-run crash at Highway 10 and 176th Street that police suspect might have been connected to the shooting. They are still looking for witnesses to the shooting and collision.
Sgt. Jennifer Pound, spokeswoman for IHIT, said it's "an extremely hard investigation to move forward because it does have some earmarks of gang attached to it.
"We have persons of interest but we don't have the evidence we need to move it forward."
Pound stressed that Whitmee was not a gangster but rather an innocent victim in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Lexus' mom, Heather Brecht, struggled to describe the aftermath of the murder. "It's so, so random," she said of the shooting. "We're so removed from that (gangster) lifestyle. It's unbelievable. In not like a moment, that was it - everything changed. Every single part of our lives just changed."
She and Lexus visit his grave every Sunday, she said. "I would like people to know that it wasn't just my daughter's dad that was taken that night. It was her innocence.
"We can't change the past and what's happened, but we can do something to make those who took Chris to be held accountable."
This is the second year Lexus and Heather have staged a press conference, with police, to plead for witnesses, or anyone with information, to come forward.
Last year the pair launched a poster campaign.
"I hope this will be our last year of this," Heather said.
Whitmee's family marked the second anniversary of his murder by offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of his killer.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-IHIT(4448) or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
"We need people to feel their pain and come forward," Pound said of Whitmee's family. "We need to have people come forward."