More than 2500 miles away, in a small California town, a mother is seeking justice for her son.
"He was loved by everyone," said Linda Olenski.
Christopher Rudow moved to Buffalo to work as a corporate trainer for Geico in Amherst. He also played music as a part-time DJ. The likeable young man quickly grew a group of tight-knit friends. His mother Linda says Chris was someone you wanted to know.
"He was featured on America's Most Wanted for assisting the local police department," Olenski said of her son. "A suspected murderer who had killed a young girl stabbed her to death. He befriended my son at the public swimming pool. Chris helped police lead to where he might be. They found him, and he was arrested."
It's now Chris' murder that needs to be solved.
On a snowy day in 2010, Buffalo Police responded to a welfare check at the Elk Terminal Lofts on Scott Street. Chris' mail had been piling up, and no one had seen or heard from him in days.
It was inside his apartment on January 5 that police made the grim discovery. His mother got the call.
"I took the call...informing me that my son had been found in his apartment..dead," she said.
According to his family, police aren't exactly sure when Chris was murdered. It happened sometime between Christmas of 2009, and January 5 of 2010.
"The coroner said no mother should ever see this. Parts had already started mummifying...his feet, his hands, his nose. She said it was brutal," Olenski said.
The autopsy report spells out the manor in which Chris was killed. There were more than 25 severe injuries to his entire body. He was covered in dozens of cuts, bruises and had internal bleeding," said Olenski.
His family says his door was dead-bolted when police first arrived, and it's because of that they believe his killer was someone he knew.
"All of his personal effects were there," said Lance Sharp, Chris's brother. "His credit cards, his wallet."
"I've been informed that the apartment had been wiped clean," said Olenski.
Linda says detectives told her there was no DNA found at the scene, not even that of Chris who lived at the apartment.
The family says there were people questioned by police, a neighbor who heard a fight but turned up music to drown out the noise, an ex-boyfriend who the family says passed a lie detector test, and maintenance personnel. No one was ever charged.
It's pain no mother should ever feel, and it's questions that should never need to be answered. It's the reality for Linda Olenski, and she will never stop until she finds justice for her son.
"I have a wall frame of all his pictures in my bedroom that I walk past in the morning and I kiss," Olenski said. "There is no way to explain the emptiness and the loss of my son."
A Buffalo Police spokesperson says detectives are still working on this case, but there are no new leads. They're hoping this story will generate new conversation and new leads to close the case.
If you have any information, you're asked to contact Buffalo Police.
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