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Family of murdered Arizona Rattler seeks answers

The family is out in New York pleading for any answers that can bring some closure to their worst nightmare.

PHOENIX — The family of Arizona Rattlers player Lance McDowdell are still seeking justice after his death in December 2019.

One person was arrested, but they have yet to be charged. McDowdell’s family is in New York, so the lack of answers makes it that much harder.

Some of McDowdell’s proudest moments were made on the field with the Arizona Rattlers. It’s how his family remembers him. He was known to dance his way through the games as a defensive lineman.

“I never refer to him in the past tense, just present it’s hard,” says Tyia Patrick, McDowdell’s mother.

Before his family got to see him play in person, he was killed. It was his first full season playing for the team.

“It’s just been really hard without him,” says Asia Atterberry, McDowdell’s older sister.

It’s been more than nine months since police found the 25-year-old shot in the driveway of an apartment complex in Phoenix. 

A month later, police arrested 28-year-old Christopher Ayers for the crime and recommended second-degree murder charges. But Ayers still hasn’t been charged for McDowdell’s death.

“We don’t know if they knew each other at all,” says Patrick.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office says they have returned the case back to police for further investigation.

“We can’t move on until justice is served for my brother,” says Atterberry.

They’re calling on police to work harder.

“Do you know how many hard days I have where I can’t even go on?” says Patrick. They are asking for anyone with any information to come forward.

“No matter how big or how small. Anything can lead to something,” says Keshawn McDowdell, Lance’s younger brother.

Police say the case is ongoing. Anyone with any information on the case can leave a tip anonymously at 480-WITNESS.