Unknown Sean Buchanan Killer- Florida- 2011 Nov 22, 2016 1:42:23 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Nov 22, 2016 1:42:23 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay)
From the Tampa Bay Times website (tampabay.com):
Whatever happened to Sean Buchanan, investigators believe, took place just minutes after the surveillance cameras lost sight of him.
They retraced his last steps the night of Memorial Day 2011 using time-stamped surveillance footage from the AMC Regency 20 movie theater.
It showed the 26-year-old walking out of a screening of the movie Fast Five at 9:47 p.m. He strolled around the crowded theater, headed out the west doors, then past the front entrance. He disappeared down a side hallway that led to a rear parking lot.
It was 9:58 p.m. The next time anyone saw Buchanan, he was dying.
About 40 minutes later, two people found him in the driver's seat of his Toyota Corolla, crashed in the woods behind the theater. He had been stabbed in the chest.
Exactly what transpired in those missing minutes — and who attacked him — continues to confound investigators. Five years later, the murder remains unsolved.
For those who knew him, it is a source of unending grief, tempered only by the hope that a break in the case might yet come.
• • •
Sean Buchanan was born in South Korea and was adopted as an infant by Gary and Mary Buchanan. He had two younger sisters, Kelly and Katie, who were also adopted from Korea. His father was a detective who investigated homicides.
They lived in Kansas City, but moved to Riverview when Sean was in the fifth grade.
He lived to entertain. He sang constantly — in cars, in stores, in the shower. He performed in summer shows at Busch Gardens and on karaoke night at local bars.
He drew crowds with silly tricks, like moving an Oreo cookie from his forehead to his mouth using only his facial muscles.
"He was always the comedian, the ham," said sister Kelly Buchanan, 28. "He loved the spotlight. He was the definition of an extrovert."
In 2010, on his 25th birthday, Sean Buchanan got a tattoo on his forearm: a cross superimposed on a treble clef, a testament to his faith and love of music.
He studied theater at the University of South Florida in Tampa. There, he met Meagan McMullen. She was a few years older and more reserved. She admired his confidence, his outgoing nature, and was charmed when she learned he liked her.
They dated about two years before their daughter, Shea, was born. At the hospital, he stood by in swim trunks and a backward ball cap, crooning the lyrics to I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas as he readied to help deliver the baby.
"He was all about family," Kelly Buchanan said. "He wanted a son and daughter and a house with a white picket fence. He saw that as the American dream."
He worked two jobs, at Chick-fil-A and Chipotle, to support his daughter after she was born.
By May 2011, he and McMullen were separated. But he still strove to be with his daughter as much as he could, his family said.
On May 30, Memorial Day, he saw her at the home of McMullen's family. Later, he visited his own family in Riverview for lunch.
That night, his first night off in weeks, Sean Buchanan went to the movies.
• • •
A Chick-fil-A receipt, bearing Buchanan's manager code, was found on the ground where investigators believed he parked his car.
Their theory is that he was targeted for a robbery, the receipt falling from his pockets as he was attacked in the parking lot. After he was stabbed, Buchanan got in his car and sped toward the woods, where he crashed.
Two people who spotted his taillights thought he was a drunken driver. As one of them called 911, the other noticed the wound to his chest. He was awake when paramedics arrived. He asked if he had been stabbed. They asked the same.
He lost consciousness before he could say anymore.
He was rushed to Tampa General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead just after 1 a.m. May 31, 2011.
• • •
In the annals of cold cases, the murder of Sean Buchanan is unusual in a few respects.
For one, he did nothing to invite trouble. In many cases, people are victimized when they become involved in drugs or some other criminal activity. Many of them also knew their killers. But Buchanan's case was a random crime.
"That is, to me, what makes this a 'true victim' homicide," said Hillsborough sheriff's Detective Greg Thomas, who has been the lead investigator on Buchanan's case since it happened. "It's an unknowing, unsuspecting victim."
His case is also unusual because there are no suspects. In more than half of the cold cases on file at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, investigators have an inkling of who is responsible, Thomas said. They just can't prove it in court.
But they have no idea who is responsible for Sean Buchanan's murder.
There, however, a few clues:
A motion-activated camera facing west, behind the theater, was triggered at 10:02 p.m., four minutes after Sean Buchanan walked out. It recorded a man who walked around a couple of parked cars, then moved west through the parking lot.
He appeared to be carrying something in his left hand. He walked toward the rear of a pickup. After 26 seconds, the camera stopped recording. The man disappeared.
"If he wasn't the suspect or involved in the crime itself," Thomas said, "then he would have to have seen something going on."
The detective doesn't know who that man is, but he does want to speak to him.
If the Sheriff's Office does identify a suspect, DNA could help them make a case.
Forensic tests of Sean Buchanan's clothing turned up traces of someone else's DNA.
• • •
In 2012, Buchanan's father died of chronic health problems at age 64.
A hardened investigator, he tended to hide his emotions. But at the end of his life, his family said, that changed.
"Toward the end, he said Sean was coming to take him," said Mary Buchanan, 63.
Little things trigger memories of those who remember Sean Buchanan. For his mother, it can be the sound of sandals over floor tiles, or a radio station playing one of the many songs he used to sing.
"Sean is like every kid, every son or daughter out there," the mother said. "And you just think they're going to come home at night and ask you what's for dinner or do the laundry."
For McMullen, she sees Sean Buchanan in their daughter, now 5. Like her father, the little girl also likes to sing and layers her clothing just like her dad did.
Shea's broad smile also mirrors that of the father she will never know.
"She is everything wonderful about her dad," McMullen said. "But she's missing a part, and that's not her fault, and it's not fair for her."
Those who knew Sean Buchanan hope for the day when an arrest is made in his murder. They hope they'll get the chance to confront his killer. They hope that person will learn about man who was taken from them.
"You don't know how strong you are until you have to be," Mary Buchanan said. "But sometimes that have-to-be is a tough road to go down."
Admin Note #1: Anyone with information on who killed Sean Buchanan can visit his Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay information page to learn how to call, text, or submit an anonymous web tip to that site: www.crimestopperstb.com/crimeoftheweek.aspx?ID=12153
Admin Note #2: If you have any (news-related) updates on this case, please contact us here: amwfans.com/thread/1662/website-contact-form