UPDATE: Idaho News 6 spoke with Akrian’s father, Richard Evans. Richard says he canceling his offer for the $100,000 reward. Richard says he doesn’t believe the reward has done anything to solve the cold case.
ORIGINAL STORY: A Nampa man is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for murdering his son.
It’s about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, 2015.
Nampa Police officers are called to the 100 block of Garrity Blvd. The property is dark and shadowy.
An RV is parked behind a nondescript yellow house that sits some distance from the street. In the RV, they find a man shot to death; a man they later identify as 26-year-old Akrian Evans.
Earlier, Akrian and his family had celebrated his daughter’s birthday. “About eight o’clock that night, my son got a phone call saying someone wanted to meet him to buy some pallets,” his father, Richard Evans, remembers. Hours later, the family gets another call -– this one from the police, saying their son had been found shot to death.
As officers process the crime scene and interview relatives and friends, they learn Evans was a loving, family-oriented father; a hard-worker, a plumber known for his courteous professionalism.
“When he was at a customer’s house, he always left as their friend, instead of them just being another customer,” his father says. “He’d do anything for a person. He’d give you the shirt off his back.”
Police find several stacks of old pallets on the property, and learn Akrian was known to sell pallets to people who needed scrap lumber for some reason or simply wanted wood to start backyard bonfires.
Soon after the investigation begins, Nampa Police release a sketch of a man they say was possibly the last person to see Akrian alive. Investigators nickname him “Pallet Guy,” because they say Akrian was led to the believe the man was interested in buying pallets from him.
“Pallet Guy” is described as a white man with a tan complexion, dark hair, about 5-feet 6-inches tall, and weighing possibly 170 pounds. He appeared to be in his mid-thirties to early-forties, according to police. Some say he was “rough-looking, with a wiry build and a scruffy appearance.” He also had a long ponytail, down to about his mid-back.
Police are told “Pallet Guy” was last seen driving a white pick-up, perhaps a 1990s or 2000 model Chevy S-10, possibly with discoloration spots on the tailgate.
As a result, tips start coming in. Nampa Police Detective Mark Palfreyman is the lead investigator. “We had a lot of people calling us, saying, ‘Hey, I know a guy who drives a white truck and has pallets in the back. You may want to check him out.’ And we were willing to check all those people out.”
But the tips lead nowhere.
Ultimately, police believe “This was not a random act of violence,” Palfreyman says. “Akrian was targeted. And I feel there was more than one person involved, (especially) in regards to the way it was set up and the way it went down.” But he declined to give details, citing the ongoing investigation.
As far as a motive?
There are different theories, he says. “An enemy, jealousy, anger, robbery, or maybe a combination.”
Like many people, Akrian had had his share of challenges. He struggled with a substance abuse problem, police say. He also was known to have what some describe as “family and employment hardships.”
“Akrian surrounded himself with a lot of good people, but also a lot of people who, shall we say, are from the other side of the tracks,” Palfreyman points out. It’s those “other side of the tracks” people -– people who don’t want to cooperate with police, or are reluctant to provide information, or simply don’t want to be forthcoming with everything they know -– who are making the investigation a challenge, authorities admit.
“This investigation is huge,” says Palfreyman. “But it’s not going to be on the shoulders of one person. I strongly believe there are people in our community who have the answers we are looking for. But they may think the weight of this investigation is squarely on their shoulders. It’s not. This case is not going to be solved by just one person (coming forward).”
Richard Evans says his son’s death has left “a void” in the hearts of all those who loved him -– family and friends alike -- a void that’s often hard to describe. “It’s like you know something’s supposed to be there, but isn’t; something you’ve planned for all your life and then, all of a sudden, it’s not there. It’s frustrating and very saddening.”
Police confirm they’ve conducted some 100 interviews, reviewed over 200 supplemental reports, have traced numerous phone and text records, and continue to follow leads and tips that trickle in.
But, given that it’s a current investigation, they’re saying little else. They’ve served “multiple” search warrants -– they won’t say how many –- and have “multiple” persons of interest.
But do they have the murder weapon? “I’m not prepared to comment on that,” Palfreyman says. “I don’t want to get into those details.”
Given the dead ends, the investigation has been understandably frustrating for both police and Akrian’s family. “That’s why I’m offering a $100,000 reward, through a secured bond, payable on the day of conviction,” Richard Evans says. “I’m hoping it will encourage people to come forward and help us get (the person or persons responsible) off the street.”
He also hopes it will finally close the book on the case –- bringing closure for everyone –- and answer questions that have been nagging family, friends, and detectives for over two years.
Who killed Akrian Evans? And why?
What role did the mysterious “Pallet Guy” play in the murder?
And if it was a conspiracy, who all was involved?
If you have information about this crime, you’re urged to call the Nampa Police Department at 208-465-2257 or Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS (2677), www.343COPS.com, or leave a tip using the “P3 Tips” app for your mobile device.
“I’ve talked with Akrian’s father on a number of occasions. I know how much he loved his son. I can’t imagine the pain he, his family, and those closest to Akrian feel,” Palfreyman says. “So we need someone to come forward. We need someone who’s willing to do the right thing.”