4 years later, family still looking for justice in Topeka quadruple killings

In order from left to right, Carla Avery, Eric Avery, Marvin Woods & Tamesha Lee. Photos Courtesy: Karmen Nard

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A local family is asking for answers four years after four loved ones were murdered in Topeka.

On December 1, 2013, Topeka police found Tamesha Lee, Marvin Woods, and Eric Avery shot to death inside a home at 1629 SW Central Park and found a fourth victim, Carla Jean Avery critically injured behind a business hours later. She died just a couple days later. Carla was a mother, friend and according to neighbors a big part of the Central Park community.

The four killings marked the city’s first quadruple homicide case.

The house also is the site of another killing, when a 16-year-old died in 2007 of a gunshot wound. It was initially reported as a possible suicide, but the Shawnee County Coroner’s Office later ruled it as a homicide after an autopsy.

Three days after the murder, two men were arrested while burglarizing the house where the bodies of Eric Avery, Lee, and Woods were found but said the two men didn’t have anything to do with the slayings. Both pleaded guilty to burglary and were sentenced in 2014.

A year after the four murders police said they believed those responsible were still living in or near the city and said they didn’t think the deaths were random acts of violence.

In 2014 Police Capt. Brian Desch said he believed the suspect or suspects came from Topeka and that someone knows who was involved.

Four years later the family of Carla Avery tells KSNT News they hope someone can find it in their heart to come forward with any information.

“It’s not fair my son had to live with the fact that his whole family is gone,” said Karmen Nard, the mother of Eric’s 13-year-old son Zeric. “He also knows that absolutely no one has been brought to justice so that he can have closure.”

KSNT News has reached out to the Topeka Police Department for the latest on the investigation. They continue to ask anyone with knowledge of this incident to contact Detective Jesse Sherer at 785-368-9423 or Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007.

The family released the following statement to KSNT News this week:

“On December 1st 2013 many lives were changed forever. Due to someone else’s senseless acts four people were stolen out of their families lives with no explanation or closure… in addition exactly one year and 15 days after the murders on December 16th 2014, Barnever Avery which was the beloved mother of Carla and Eric Avery died the day before she was to have open heart surgery due to a broken heart. The person/persons who are responsible have totally ruined so many lives and you would think the TPD would be diligently working with or even keeping in contact with the surviving family members but they aren’t! It’s been 4 years and the family has said no one has contacted them since the murders first occurred. KSNT News just informed the family today of the detectives name on the case because they didn’t even know… The interview I myself had with them was two years after the murders and in that interview I was told a key piece of evidence in this horrific case was “accidentally” destroyed and I have yet to hear of anyone being reprimanded! At the end of the day the only things that Carla Avery, Eric Avery, Marvin Woods, and Tamesha Lee’s family want is for someone ANYONE to come forward with information so that this family can finally have closer and move forward in mourning…”



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