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Murder suspect still eluding police

August 20, 2005|By CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Today, Ronald L. Kidrick, known to his friends and family as "Punkin" and "Polo," would have turned 31 years old. During recent family gatherings, a somber mood has prevailed, caused by Kidrick's murder last month outside of a Martinsburg motel.

Kidrick's family and friends are hoping a celebration of Kidrick's life today will help turn the mood into a positive one. Plus, someone decided to center the celebration around a pig roast.

"He probably would've thought we were crazy," Kidrick's sister-in-law, Amy Kidrick, said.

Frustration for Kidrick's family and friends has mounted as the man charged with shooting Kidrick continues to elude police.

An arrest warrant has been issued charging E.C. Grimes, 23, with murder, alleging he shot Kidrick once in the head early on July 30 outside of the Relax Inn on Winchester Avenue.

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"We get leads and we get tips, but so far nothing's been fruitful," Berkeley County Sheriff Randy Smith said.

Information about Grimes has been entered into NCIC, a national crime database, and reports have come in to police indicating he's been seen in Martinsburg and Baltimore, Smith said.

Police tracked down the tips, but never spotted Grimes.

"It's like 'America's Most Wanted,'" Smith said. "He'll pop up sometime."

Amy Kidrick said she wishes police would update the family more often.

"It's very frustrating. It's like we play cat and mouse with the police department, trying to find out if anything has changed," Amy Kidrick said. "We don't know anything. They don't contact us. We have to contact them."

Kidrick's family also has heard that Grimes has been spotted, but nobody knows for sure where he is.

"He could've shaved his mustache and walked right by me and I never would've known it," Kidrick said, saying Grimes was not known to the family.

Ronald Kidrick, who lived in Shepherdstown, W.Va., is constantly in the thoughts of his loved ones.

"It doesn't really go away," said Amy Kidrick, who married Ronald's brother Philip four years ago. "You just continue to go, make yourself go. You can't sleep at night."

Questions about Kidrick's death remain unanswered.

Family members continue to wonder exactly what happened outside of the motel, where Kidrick had gone after his 6-year-old son, Trejan, called and asked to be picked up.

Trejan had been with his mother, Mary Davis, who was living at the motel, police have said.

"If Tre called, he went. There were no questions asked," Amy Kidrick said of her brother-in-law. "He was a very, very special person."

Ronald Kidrick's last gift was as an organ donor. His heart, lungs, kidneys and liver were donated to five others, Amy Kidrick said.

After the shooting, rumors started to spread about Ronald Kidrick, who had been trying to turn his life around after his mother, Sarah Kidrick, died last October.

Even if he lived a lifestyle not all people understand or agree with, he was important and loved by many, Amy Kidrick said.

"Everybody's life is valuable," she said. "No one has the right to take away anyone's life."

Anyone with information about the shooting or Grimes' whereabouts may call the sheriff's department at 304-267-7000 or the anonymous Crime Solvers line at 304-267-4999.

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