By Carol Aun
A recent review of a 2008 murder at a New Year's Eve party in Mission has uncovered new leads and investigators believe there are people living in the Tri-Cities who may have information about the case.
The body of 21-year-old Payton Booker Buckner, also known as Dexter, a Mission resident, was found in the driveway of a home on Laurel Avenue in Mission just before midnight Dec. 31, 2008.
Police determined the victim was involved in an altercation at a nearby house party and Cpl. Dale Carr of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) reports police have spoken to some partygoers but they believe there is a core group of people who have critical information to the investigations who aren't coming forward.
Police say Buckner was at the party and believe he was targeted.
"The altercation wasn't initiated by Buckner," Carr said.
Asked about the appeal for information more than two years after the crime, he said reviews are done on a regular basis and just because an investigation is stalled, it doesn't mean it's just sitting in a box.
Police believe there were people from Coquitlam, Maple Ridge and Mission at the party and have an idea who is involved in the core group they are trying to locate.
Carr said, "We know some are covering up for others and being evasive" while others are not making themselves available to investigators.
"Holding on to information about a homicide is a heavy burden to carry. Now is the time to unburden yourself of that information and come forward with the full details regarding the murder of Payton 'Dexter' Buckner," Carr said.
Police want to get to the bottom of this crime and give his family some answers, Carr added.
Anyone with information regarding this murder is asked to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-IHIT. If you wish to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.