Family pleads for help to find suspects in man's murder during home invasion

December 28, 2012 2:47:51 PM PST
A young man was murdered during a home invasion earlier this month and it all happened in front of a small child. The family is now pleading for anyone with information to come forward.

The deadly home invasion happened back on December 14 at an apartment off North Vista and the North Freeway.

"Me and my family are here today on behalf of my brother," said the victim's sister, Jessica Easterling.

Wearing his face on her t-shirt and gripping a podium during a press conference, the big sister struggled to hold it together

"He was a devoted father. He was a son, an uncle, a cousin," said Easterling.

She is still haunted by what happened to her 24-year-old brother, James Dillon, right in front of her family, including her small children's eyes.

"It was terrifying.That night was one of the most horrific nights of my life," she said.

It was just after dinner. The family was inside their north Harris County apartment when Harris County Sheriff's investigators say four suspects kicked opened the door and barged in with long guns and pistols.

"Everyone was ordered to the floor," Easterling said.

Easterling, her husband and her two small children were inside the apartment along with Dillon when the home invasion happened.

"Shortly after they gained entry Mr. Dillon woke up and stood up," said Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Cory Pool.

That's when authorities say he was shot and killed right in front of his 2- and 4-year-old nieces.

"One of the suspects shot the complainant and they boldly spent several more minutes searching for valuable items," Deputy Pool said.

Investigators say the suspects fled with valuables and what they left behind was a nightmare for this family.

"My 4-year-old is taking it pretty hard. She has sometimes nightmares, and sometimes kicking and screaming in her sleep, but we just talked to her and try to console her and let her know that he is in a better place and that he is with God," said Easterling. "I'm pleading, I'm begging and I'm asking if anyone knows anything, has heard anything, or has heard anybody talking about the situation to please call."

Authorities released sketches of two of the four suspects. All four are between 18-23 years old. One of them is described as 6 foot 1 to 6 foot 3 in height with a slender build.

The public is asked to call Crime Stoppers with any information about the identities of the three or four unidentified males.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspect(s) in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message. Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.

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