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Unsolved murders from 2013 still haunt Orlando

Tamika Bryant is still waiting for justice after the shooting death of her husband, Herman “Lil Man” Brant; also, brief profiles of three other unsolved murders from 2013

Photo: Photos courtesy Tamika Bryant, License: N/A

Photos courtesy Tamika Bryant

Photo: , License: N/A

“You don’t have to give your name. Please call. Just say what you saw. Say what you know,” Marie Bess begged.

At the time of his death, Bess’ children included two sons, 14 and 5 years old, and a 10-month-old daughter. His wife was crying too hard to say anything at the press conference, and his teenage son looked so straight-faced that he was either in shock or uncomprehending of the reality that his father was gone forever.

Elroy Bryant

Little is known about Elroy Bryant. He was a 32-year-old black man who had worked at Fuddruckers at some point before his demise, according to a message left on his obituary by a former manager.

He was shot to death on Aug. 31, 2013, while riding his bicycle on Tampa Avenue and Carter Street just south of the Citrus Bowl. His body was discovered in an adjacent field by a bystander who waved police down at around 4 a.m. Investigators said Bryant’s body had “obvious homicidal trauma.”

Sgt. Young told the Orlando Sentinel that the slaying might have been connected to a robbery that occurred two hours earlier at nearby Pine Street and Texas Avenue. The suspect in that crime was described as a 5-foot-10 to 6-foot black male of medium build, aged in his early- to mid-20s. He wore a red polo, a red baseball cap and black shorts.

Not much else is known about Bryant, except that he is survived by grandparents and other relatives. He was arrested in July 2010 for driving without a valid license, but that’s about it.

Bryant’s former boss at Fuddruckers, Javier Santos, wrote in Bryant’s online obituary that he worked with him for three years and that he had a friendly presence. “Elroy was a good man and I will always remember his big, bright smile that always illuminated any room he entered,” Santos recalled, before extending his sympathies.

Another guest, identifying herself merely as “Kelly,” posted her condolences in the form of a Bible quote. The passage was apt, and could have applied to any of the four cases. It was Acts, 24:15: “And they have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.”

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