1978 COLD CASE: Ramon Yentzer of Susquehanna Township

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It's been 40 years and investigators still don't know who shot and killed 34-year-old Ramon Yentzer outside of his apartment.

It was early in the morning on March 28th, 1978. Police in Susquehanna Township responded to calls for shots fired outside of Scottsdale Apartments. A guy delivering newspapers found Yentzer shot dead.

"The case was thoroughly investigated but unfortunately time passed," Jeffrey Vargo, Deputy Chief of  Susquehanna Township Police, said. "And the case, I hate to use the word grew cold but all of the leads were looked into and the officers did what they could."

Fast forward 40 years, not many people recognize the name Ray Yentzer.

"I was fortunate enough to identify a friend of Mr. Yentzer's that was able to provide a lot of insight, a lot of background on Mr. Yentzer's lifestyle," Vargo said. "Where he worked, who he was friends with at the time."

That man, is Mike Escobar.

"I remember him clear as day," Escobar said.

He has only the fondest memories of Ray.

"Ray was one of the most gentle, peaceful, fun-loving, active people I've ever known," Escobar said. "He was extremely active in the Church in the Harrisburg area. He was a musician, and the churches would change their church services so he could come in and play during their church services."

Escobar has known Ray since he was a kid. He was a close family friend who he called an uncle. Ray never had any kids and to Mike's knowledge, he was single.

"We didn't talk about it," Escobar said. "It was kind of just an understanding. He was gay. I knew he was gay. He knew I was gay. But we didn't talk about it. It wasn't something that was important enough for us to talk to each other."

Police can't share their theories, as to protect the integrity of the case. Mike on the other hand;

"Either someone in the church, who knew how popular he was in the church, found out or speculated about Ray's sexuality, or there was a drug connection because he worked at a local hospital in the pharmacy," Escobar said. "And then the other reason would be just was it a random burglary kind of thing? People wanting to get into his apartment?"

Still, questions remain. Why was Ray outside of his apartment at 4:30 in the morning? Why was he dressed? Was he lured? Mike believes this was a hate crime.

"Yes, yeah," Escobar said. "At that time in the 60's and 70's that was not an uncommon thing for violence against gays."

"Mr. Yenter was living a vibrant life," Vargo said. "Again, a productive member of society. And his life was cut short and it was taken from him by some monster that decided to pull the trigger. And I'm confident that there's somebody out there that knows something about this crime."

If or when someone is found accountable for this act, Mike said he hopes it is treated as a hate crime, even though it's been 40 years. If you have any information at all, contact Susquehanna Township police at 717-909-9260.

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