Lee County moms still wonder about sons’ cold case killings

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LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. 27th Street is not a road Debbie McCarter likes to frequent.

“Every time I come down here, I think about Andre laying on the ground,” she said.

Her son, Andre, 36, exited his vehicle in front of his home and had his house key in the lock when bullets ended his life.

Debbie McCarter, along with her two granddaughters, were inside the residence.

She believes the killer knew her son and followed him home.

The killer then stole her vehicle from the driveway. It was later found on Economy Street in Fort Myers.

Andre McCarter left behind a 3-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son.

“He was a good kid. He was a happy kid. Loved family. Loved friends,” Debbie McCarter said. “I just don’t understand, who would want to kill him?”

Out of 95 killings investigated by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office within the past five years, Andrew McCarter’s May 2015 death is one of 26 that remain unsolved.

In Fort Myers, only 24 of the city’s 74 murders were solved within the past five years.

WINK News is bringing attention to some of these cases in hope that renewed interest will result in new clues.

One of those cases happened less than a mile away from where McCarter was killed.

Tehran Leaphart, 43, was shot and killed in his brother’s driveway at the corner of Bolt Lane and Wilson Road in June 2015.

His mother, and his 15 children, want to know why.

“We need closure,” Jaqulyne Steele said. “We are people too. We should matter. I mean, we shouldn’t be treated any less than anybody else.”

Detectives are awaiting results from DNA evidence and have witnesses, Steele said, but that has not been confirmed by the sheriff’s office.

For now, Steele walks around in fear.

“You can go to church and sit by somebody and not know whether their kid was involved you know,” she said. It’s not a good feeling.”

Anyone with information on either killing is asked to contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS.

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