LACKAWANNA, NY (WIVB) - The murder of 35-year-old Larry Wells remains unsolved, and although Wells is gone, the community is rallying around the family he left behind.
Hundreds of supporters and well-wishers attended a benefit for Wells' family at the Matthew Glab American Legion Post 1477 in Lackawanna Saturday night. All of the proceeds will benefit Wells' wife, Jill, their daughter and their unborn child.
More than 400 people purchased tickets for the benefit, which also featured a basket raffle. The money raised through ticket sales alone totals over $10,000.
"We have hundreds of volunteers, donations, baskets. It's just been amazing; it's overwhelming," Michelle Rizzo, one of Wells' cousins, told News 4. "For Jill, for Maddie and for our little baby on the way, I certainly think that this is a wonderful event."
Wells was a manager at the Toys R Us store at Milestrip Road and McKinley Parkway in Hamburg. Police say that around 4:30 AM on June 29, before the store opened, an unknown assailant forced his way into the store, slipped past a half-dozen employees who were stocking shelves, and murdered Wells in his office.
Rizzo remembers the kind of person her cousin was, and how all of her family members' lives changed that day.
"Larry's been amazing. Through our lives, he's supported all of us, always. No matter what we ever needed, wanted, Larry's always been there," Rizzo recalled. "So we're here to continue his tradition and help his family, and do anything that we can."
Rizzo said the outpouring of support from the community has helped her family through this difficult time.
"People just want to help out. Constantly asking questions, 'What can I do? What can I do?' Everywhere," Rizzo said. "Everywhere we go. People here - you're family. They just can't do enough. So we just wanted to come out and say thank you to the community. Buffalo is amazing. I don't know that this happens in other areas."
Hamburg Police are still looking for Wells' killer. Their only pictures of him came from grainy surveillance video, taken inside Toys R Us.
But detectives' have said their best piece of evidence is a 2007 Florida Gators National Championship baseball cap, found at the scene. They believe the suspect was wearing it, and dropped it as he made his escape.
Police have been working to enhance the surveillance video and test the cap for DNA evidence.
Almost three months to the day after Wells died, his family is appealing for information that will lead to a break in the case.
"If anybody knows anything, just say something," Rizzo pleaded. "Help us bring this guy in, because we just need him to be caught."
The number for Hamburg Police is 648-5111.
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