HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maui Police are still working an open and active murder case from 15 years ago. Detectives and the victim's family still haven't given up hope in finding the killer.
Raymond Ramos was 47 years old and the father of seven kids. This weekend marks the 15th anniversary of when he was gunned down at Nakalele Point on Maui. It's a case that shook the community back then and is still rattling cages today.
"We had a difficult time," recalls Rhianna Ramos, Raymond's daughter who is now 31 years old.
The family photos show smiles. But Rhianna Ramos and her siblings had a rough childhood. Their home was raided at gunpoint by law enforcement officials looking for their dad.
"They came into the house and they had rifles in their hand and they said hit the floor, everyone in the house hit the floor," said Rhianna Ramos, who was 10 at the time.
Their dad Raymond Ramos Jr. spent four years in prison for drug dealing. Their mom also pleaded guilty to lesser charges. The kids stayed with relatives and were under Child Protective Services for a time.
When their father was released from prison early in 1997 everything was supposed to be better.
"I was so happy to see him because we only saw him behind bars. He came out and I was like, 'Dad you're home! Are you home for good?'" and he said, 'yes we're home,'" recalled Rhianna Ramos.
The joy didn't last long. A year later on June 22, 1998 Maui Police say Ramos took a large amount of cash to buy drugs from a supplier. But detectives think it was a setup. Ramos was shot multiple times, left in his car for dead and the money stolen.
Once again the family had to endure painful news.
"(The Chaplain) told me I'm so sorry you're dad is dead. My sister grabbed my hand and said don't listen to what they're saying come on let's go to sleep, we'll call dad in the morning. My auntie came in the house and she told us he's gone and I couldn't stop crying. I thought it was a dream I really thought it was a dream. And I told them who did it? Who killed our dad? And they couldn't answer those questions to us," said Ramos.
They still aren't answered 15 years later. Police have suspects but not enough evidence.
The family does think Ramos knew the killer because he made the 90 minute drive from his home in Haiku to Nakalele Point to meet them.
"Maui is such a small island. Somebody knows something," said Ramos. "I'm not saying what he did is okay, it's not okay what he did. It's not okay to go out and deal drugs, be a drug dealer. But the way he died that wasn't right."
And the fact of the matter is there are cold blooded killers who may still be on island and on the loose.
"Saturday makes 15 years. And he hasn't been forgotten. I'm just hoping that somebody has a change of heart. They come forward. They talk," said Ramos. "It's hard and it hurts a lot that this hasn't been solved."
What would make the Ramos kids smile again is knowing their dad's killer or killers have been caught.
The hope is witnesses won't be scared to come forward now that so much time has passed or they feel they've been silent long enough and feel compelled to speak out.
"We have not forgotten about Mr. Raymond Ramos and request if anyone has any information regarding Mr. Ramos' murder to please contact the Maui Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division at 808-244-6425. We are hopeful that his killer or killers, will be brought to justice soon," said Lt. Jayson Rego, Maui Police Department, in a written statement.