Detective Steve Stibler’s death at the hands of a gunman was a cold case, one that had to be solved with some other way than the traditional “case closed.”
And yet, when the detective, a beloved character on television, died in a shooting at the request of a family friend, no one had any idea where to start looking.
“I had no idea how to go about it,” Stibl told Polygon, after telling the story of his own unsolved murder in the wake of the tragedy.
“I never imagined this, but I did.
This is not a crime that was solved by the internet.
It was solved in a different way.”
Stibling’s death was a case of “cold case” in the best possible way.
The case, as it is known, began on February 7, 2018, when a man entered the home of Stiblers mother and sister, killing them.
Investigators traced the man to a nearby property, where he reportedly killed Stiblings father and brother, as well as the other victim.
The police were tipped off to Stibs death when Stiblin’s mother, who lived across the street, reported seeing a man who matched the description of the killer walking toward the home on the afternoon of February 6.
Police then arrested the suspect in the case, and the murder was solved.
The man in question had been previously convicted of multiple homicides, including Stibly’s murder, but had been on the run for years.
The suspect had been living at the address for nearly five years, but Stiblich family members believe he was on the lam for months before his capture.
When Stibleys father, a longtime police officer, was finally caught, he confessed to the crime.
His case was eventually sealed by the FBI, but he was not charged in the incident.
The murder of Stiblings father and son is a rare, cold-case case that has remained unsolved for years, and Stibli family members are not optimistic about the possibility of finding it.
Stibler is survived by his wife and four children, as he was a devoted father and husband.
The detective’s family said in a statement that they hoped that Stibllers legacy would help to “open up the unsolved cases that we’ve seen across the country for many years.”
And while Stibbler’s family is optimistic that the suspect is alive, he has never been officially identified as a suspect, meaning that his murder remains unsolved.
“It’s just a matter of time before someone finally solves it, but until that happens we don’t know if there’s anybody who could be responsible,” Stiffler’s wife, Michelle, told Polygon.
“We don’t want him to be just a guy who was just out for revenge.
He’s still a good man.”
Stabler was a beloved figure on television and in the community, a respected member of the Los Angeles Police Department and a former member of an elite SWAT team.
He was also an avid collector of guns, often hunting and keeping a collection of more than 100.
His work ethic was legendary, and he loved his family and friends.
In a tribute to the detective on Twitter, Stifflers daughter, Jody Stible, said that she hoped that one day someone would come forward with “some kind of information” about the mystery of her father’s death.