Family 'puzzled' by bizarre suspicious death turned homicide - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family 'puzzled' by suspicious death turned homicide

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Larry Richardson, Rodrick's father Larry Richardson, Rodrick's father
Rodrick Richardson Rodrick Richardson

A suspicious car crash death is now a homicide. Savannah-Chatham Metro's homicide unit is busy again as another family questions why their loved one is dead.

WTOC spoke with the family of Rodrick Richardson, 38, exclusively Friday afternoon. He was found dead near his car after a relatively minor car crash just after midnight Thursday.

That was enough for police to rule it suspicious and Friday afternoon, they found he died of a gunshot wound, not from the car wreck. Richardson's family says they want to make it clear to the public that their son was on his way to work and just a few minutes from punching in when someone ended his life.

"I wanted the public to know he was on his way to work. He wasn't out running the streets. This could happen to anybody," Larry Richardson told WTOC.

Richardson says his son, Rodrick, had a wife and six children and had worked at Derst Baking Company for more than 18 years on the night shift. He crashed just before midnight into the chain link fence outside Hodge Elementary's parking lot entrance, and was found dead at the corner across the street.

However, police did not believe the injuries were consistent with injuries from the wreck. They discovered Friday that it was in fact a gun shot wound that he died from. Richardson was less than a quarter mile from work when this all took place.

His father is still dealing with this entire situation and the strange twist which has lead to Savannah's latest homicide.

They have no idea who would have wanted their son dead. 

"I'm still puzzled by that. I'm still trying to figure out why someone would want to take him out of this world," Richardson said.

Was his son a target or was Rodrick Richardson in the wrong place at the wrong time? It's something Savannah-Chatham Metro homicide detectives are trying to piece together.

The family, however, including Richardson's wife, is taking issue with the police department out of fear they released too much information, particularly the victim's general address.

"She was concerned because she didn't have any idea why the incident happened and she felt like she might have been a little unsafe," Richardson said. "There could be some retaliation in the family, so putting out the location of where they lived, I don't think was a good idea."

Richardson's children are ages four to 15.

Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department Public Information Officer Julian Miller told WTOC that releasing the general address to the public and the media, not the specific address, is common practice, and is done so to notify neighbors who may have noticed something and may be able to get some tips or offer information to help solve the case.

The investigation is ongoing.

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