FIVE years ago today Ricardo Cox went out to get fried chicken with his brother and never came home. The 20-year-old student was walking back from a KFC in West Croydon when he was mistaken for a member of a gang and murdered in a drive-by shooting. Despite a £20,000 reward, his killer has never been caught. On the fifth anniversary of his death the detective leading the investigation has issued a new appeal for information in hope of bringing the gunman to justice. Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn told the Advertiser: "I haven't given up hope of finding the person who murdered Ricardo. "We've been given names but what we need is someone with direct information. "What I need is for someone to say 'I know who it was because I saw it, they told me or someone else told me', so I can take that information and use it in court. "My message to his killer is that we are still looking for you. I urge the public to help. Five years is a long time and loyalties change. If you know what happened, come forward." Ricardo was walking home with his brother Oniel at 9.20pm on November 26, 2008, when he reached the junction of Derby Road and Mitcham Road. A black Honda Civic car, which later turned out to be stolen, drove up to the brothers and one of the occupants asked: "Do you know anyone in the Byrd gang?" They replied that they did not, but shots – from a distinctive .22 calibre handgun – were fired from the car. Ricardo was hit in the abdomen and later died. Police believe the killing was a case of mistaken identity and the product of a feud involving Croydon gang DSN (Don't Say Nothing), also known as the Byrd gang. Ricardo, a former Croydon College and Coulsdon College student, was on a gap year and had applied to study information technology at university. His aunt, Juliet Mitchell, has vowed never to give up the hunt for his killer. "Break the silence," she said in an appeal to the Advertiser on the third anniversary of his death. "Come forward and put an innocent man's life to rest. It has to stop." Det Chief Insp Gwyn admitted that if no progress is made with this latest appeal the investigation will be shelved. "Over the last five years we've had very few people come forward and it is getting to the point where we have no further lines of inquiry," he said. "I don't know whether it's fear or loyalty, but the people who know who did this haven't spoken out. "Ricardo was in the wrong place, at the wrong time. His killer must be found. "Those who didn't say anything at the time have grown up. If they realise this case still isn't solved, then hopefully they will do the right thing. "But if nothing new comes from this appeal then we will have ask ourselves whether there's anything more we can do, or are we at the point where we have to stop until new information comes in." The £20,000 reward, offered on the first anniversary of the murder, is no longer available because the time limit has expired. An inquest into Ricardo's death is scheduled for Thursday. Anyone with information is urged to call the incident room on 020 8721 4805.For the latest on the investigation see this week's Advertiser, out on Friday (November 29)
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