FORT MYERS, Fla.- WINK News followed homicide detectives with the Fort Myers Police Department during the first 48 hours of a murder investigation.
"When officers got on scene they found that the driver of the vehicle appeared to have suffered from a gunshot wound and he did die as a result of the gunshot wound," said one homicide detective.
Detectives are investigating the death of 26 year old James Manning. Manning was found shot in his car in the 3200 block of Economy Street on June 3, 2011.
The evidence they find during the first 48 hours of the investigation can make or break a case. Detectives use a metal detector to search for shell casings that may match up with a potential murder weapon.
Meanwhile, just a few feet away, detective Al Antonini discovers three items that could become crucial evidence in the case.
"The one marked number one is something that drugs are usually exchanged in," said Antonini. "The second piece of evidence is a cigar wrapper. It too looks very fresh."
The third piece of evidence is a Snickers wrapper. It may not seem like a big deal, but Antonini will run the barcode to track where it was sold and hopefully snatch surveillance video. All of these items will be useful if:
"We can recover either the fingerprints or DNA," explained Antonini.
The clock is ticking and detectives have their work cut out for them. Not only do they need physical evidence, but they need witnesses to come forward.
"If we do find someone who saw something, they may be reluctant to talk to us because they don't want to be involved," said Antonini.
Antonini believes Manning could have been the victim of a drug deal gone bad.
"The drug-related cases are always very difficult because the drug dealers don't want to talk about that happened," he said.
Just when the trail looks cold in his current case...a break comes from across the street.
The surveillance cameras at the library were working when the homicide happened, and detectives are able to retrieve the video.
"We will take this video and get it enhanced and hopefully will we get a little bit more detail. Maybe be able to catch a license plate, maybe be able to catch occupants," Antonini told WINK News.
Unfortunately, this case remains unsolved. But detectives are still following leads. Anyone with information is asked to call the Fort Myers Police Department.