NORTH PORT, FL. - Six years ago today, Alex Teehee of North Port was killed, and nobody has been convicted yet in his death.
Teehee's family believes they are the only ones working to bring those responsible to justice.
A makeshift memorial stands feet from where 20-year-old father of two Alex Teehee was struck by a car and or beaten. Dieing in the hospital days later. "We can't really grieve Alex being gone, because we are so angry with the system," says Carol Teehee.
Nobody is behind bars for the crime. Bitter tears flow from Alex's mom Carol Teehee. She and her daughter Jana and husband Tab now feel as though they're the only ones who still care. "If we didn't keep it going I don't believe the case would go anywhere," says Tab.
A voice mail by someone Alex knew named Michael Sylvester hours before the crime said he was going to kill him. There was even a confession at one point, but the State Attorney's Office says it was coerced. Another man, Ralph Loosman, was actually arrested and charged with vehicular homicide manslaughter, but the charges were dropped by the state attorney before trial. A third man, Matt Tricarico, who the family says has ties to local law enforcement has also been linked. "Alex was murdered. These three boys were involved. We know that for a fact," says Jana Teehee.
The family spends a lot of their time writing emails and letters for help, doing their best to keep track of where those they feel are involved are. "These are repeat offenders with a violent pattern that is traceable," says Jana.
Michael Sylvester has been sitting in a San Diego jail with multiple felony charges, including assault with injuries and threatening a crime causing death. Other tips have come in through their own tip line. It’s info the family says they've tried to go over with the Florida Highway Patrol. "Months go by with no response to emails. We send several emails before we get a response. They postpone it, they tell us they do not want to meet in person. We don't even know who is handling Alex's case," says Carol Teehee.
We asked the FHP for an interview. Instead, we got a statement. "We have completed a thorough investigation and we are unable to actively pursue further action in this case. Should any new information, evidence and/or witnesses be discovered, we will proceed processing those new leads."
The family has collected 1,600 pages of discovery and gone through the medical examiner’s report, which concluded homicide. They have also hired forensic experts and forensic engineers, who recently found paperwork that showed FHP's own investigators were trying to get more with DNA found under Alex's nails. "A subpoena for a search warrant to obtain DNA samples. To obtain DNA samples from three named individuals who were in the company of Alex that day," says Tab.
That subpoena was denied by the State Attorney's Office. "Why in the world would the State Attorney's Office not want the FHP to have access to any additional evidence that might help their case?" says Tab.
The State Attorney's Office also denied our request for an interview, but did issue another statement. "Between the conflicts in the evidence and lack of evidence as to what occurred that night, we cannot establish whether the death is the result of a crime or not. As in any case, if we are presented with additional evidence that is sufficient to go forward, we would re-open our case."
"I mourn every day. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about him," says Jana.
This is a family looking for justice and closure, especially for the two little boys now 8 and 9 years old that Alex left behind. "We don't want them to grow up and have to deal with what we are dealing with and know that the justice system doesn't care," says Carol.
Despite our repeated requests over the years the Florida Highway Patrol and local State Attorney's Office in Charlotte County has never once granted us an on camera interview for this story.
The Teehee family says their goal is to get a special prosecutor to re-look at the case. They have set up a Go-Fund Me account to try and raise money for an attorney. There is also a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.