One year later: A mother still searching for answers in her son’s murder

It’s been one year since 32-year-old Carl Branch, who lived in Fort Myers, was shot and killed, and still, there have been no arrests in his tragic death.

His mother, Cindy Dukes, is holding out hope that his murder will be solved.

Branch was gunned down in broad daylight in Pasco County one year ago on October 17, 2020. He was in Zephyrhills for a youth football game.

For Branch’s mother, it’s been a difficult last 12 months because it’s been more than a year since she was last able to see, hug or speak to her son.

All she wants now are answers to who and why her son was murdered last year.

Authorities are still looking for the people responsible for pulling the trigger one year ago at Zephyrhills park sports complex in Pasco County.

Dukes said they should be arrested and serving time for what they did, and she hopes and believes it will happen soon. “I wake up in the morning and try not to be sad and depressed because he’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I wake up in the morning. He’s the last thing when I go to sleep at night if I even sleep. It’s hard, it’s hard to make it day by day.”

She said the pain of not having her son here doesn’t get any easier.

Dukes does wish authorities would do more here to solve this murder case, but for now, she said she will continue to do all she can to keep his name alive. “That I wish he was here I love him and I miss him and I know that he would be striving right now in the business that he started a family loyalty it’s a business he started and I’m keeping it going for him because he would have been striving with that right now.”

Authorities say those responsible for the murder are likely in the Fort Myers area.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. They ask if you have any information that may help to call 1-800-780-tips or 1-800-780-8477.

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Matthew Seaver
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