Harrisburg Halloween murder mystery haunts family, friends, police

Two years after Halloween night turned deadly, friends and family are keeping a murder victim's spirit and the hunt for justice alive.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Wearing thick-rimmed black glasses and a number 99 Cleveland Indians “Ricky Vaughn” jersey, Richard McQuown met up with friends in Downtown Harrisburg.

“Rich enjoyed Halloween,” Chuck Brown said. “It was one of his favorite times to go out and have a beer or two.”

Richard McQuown
Richard McQuown

October 31, 2014 still haunts his friends and family. McQuown was last seen at MoMo’s BBQ and was found stabbed and freezing the following morning. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“Just not knowing what happened is the hardest part,” Christine Phillips said. “This is just something you didn’t expect to have happen to anyone.”

Phillips, who lives in Ohio, keeps a close eye on her brother’s case in Harrisburg.

Police Captain Gabe Olivera says McQuown’s cold case “bugs them the most” because there have been only a few leads. Several homeless people used McQuown’s credit cards that night at area gas stations, but police do not believe any were his killers.

“Whoever is responsible for this, we want them brought to justice for Rich,” Brown said.

Brown left his buddy early that night and said he can’t help but feel some regret he didn’t do more.

“I wish I would’ve stayed with him and talked him into riding home with me and watching college football or something,” he said.

Instead of focusing on the bad, Brown and other friends began a Facebook memorial page and a mission to fund a scholarship to the science department at Shippensburg University.

In August, the 2nd annual Rich McQuown Kayak Run was held.

kayak-2“He loved to kayak,” Brown said. “Some of the [most fun] times that he ever had is when he was kayaking.”

A month later, another event was held at Shady McGrady’s, the second-last location where McQuown was seen that night. A little more than $1,300 was raised and his family couldn’t be happier.

“I can’t express our gratitude,” Phillips said. “I have made – in the midst of all these horrible things that happened – I’ve made so many friends.”

McQuown’s outgoing and social attitude has lived on following his death, and many feel that is the best way he can be honored.

“If there’s anything good to come out of it, it’s that we’ve all come together,” Phillips said.

“They’re the best,” Brown said. “I wish it wasn’t under these circumstances, but it is great getting to know them better.”

Police continue to ask for tips and will track down any new leads. Those who knew McQuown hope that one day, closure will come.

“I’d like to see somebody apprehended and brought to justice,” Phillips said. “I may go to my grave and never know what happened.”

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