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Howard County Police Release New Information In Unsolved Murder

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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LAUREL, Md. (WJZ)– A cold case is heating up. New information could crack a decade-old unsolved murder in Howard County.

Mike Hellgren has reaction from the victim’s heartbroken family.

They just want closure. This is a case that has stumped investigators and they hope a jacket could be the key to solving it.

Ten years ago, police found 23-year-old Derrick Peterson shot dead in a parking lot off Barrel House Road, north of Laurel. For all those years, his devastated mother has been waiting for detectives to arrest her son’s killer.

“If I knew who did this, I would go after them myself,” said Rose Peterson, Derrick Peterson’s mother.

Now, Howard County investigators are revealing new information they hope can lead to justice. For the first time, they say the shooter stole a dark cherry-colored leather jacket Derrick Peterson wore– waist-length, with a distinctive brand name.

“Across the back of it, ‘Coogi’ was spelled out in colorful letters,” Det. Nicholas DeCarlo of the Howard County Police Department said.

Police believe this was no random killing– that Derrick Peterson knew who murdered him.

They believe perhaps the shooter was a low-level drug dealer.

Derrick Peterson never had a criminal record. He saved up to buy the Lincoln Town Car where police found his body.

“He was a talker,” Rose Peterson said. “He was could talk to you and anyone. He loved to talk. He was a people person.”

Police say the shooter was in his 20s, average build and height. More notable was the man witnesses spotted driving the getaway car. He was more than 6 feet tall and almost 300 lbs.

“People forget, they lose sight of what happened,” explained Det. DeCarlo.

Loved ones hope these revelations and a bigger reward will heat up this cold case.

“The anger and the rage is still here,” Rose Peterson said. “It’s never left me.”

Police have increased the reward to $10,000.

You can call Howard County Police with any information, and you can remain anonymous.

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