Murder, Suicide Or An Accident? - Ricky L Dyer - 1993 Cold Case

Ricky Dyer was a mild-mannered young man of 21 who worked in a grocery store in Sparks, Nevada. He had been living with his parents until approximately two weeks prior to his death. He was devoted to his family, especially to his mother, to whom he regularly brought flowers. He was the kind of person who would always help others, both in his personal life and at work. Ricky was a happy person who had just bought his first car, was looking forward to moving into his own apartment and beginning life on his own as an adult. He did not fit the profile of one whose death was ruled a suicide by the investigating agencies.

Authorities are currently investigating the death of Ricky Dyer, Jr., which occurred some time during the late evening of July 16, 1993, or early in the morning of July 17, 1993. His body was found in his vehicle, a 1977 light blue Cadillac, which was located off a country road approximately 1 1/2 miles southwest of Canyon Rd. in Sparks, Nevada. He was found shot in the head with his own shotgun.

An empty shotgun shell was found on the ground outside the driver’s closed door of the vehicle. A spent shell was found in the chamber of the Remington 870 Magnum Pump shotgun, and two live rounds were also in the gun. Authorities have speculated that Ricky fired one round outside the driver’s door, leaving the empty shell on the ground. Why would he have fired that round, being particularly familiar with his own gun? Why would he have loaded the weapon full, knowing one shot would be sufficient?

Ricky was last known to be alive at approximately 10:00 p.m. on 7/16/93, when he was drinking a beer with a co-worker at Raley’s Grocery at 701 Keystone, after their shift ended. When he left the parking lot in his Cadillac, he was allegedly on his way home. At the time of his death, Ricky lived with a male roommate in a house at 594 Abbay Way, Sparks, Nevada. Both Ricky and his roommate are believed to be heterosexual, although Ricky allegedly did not have a girlfriend.

Ricky’s roommate stated that he had called Ricky at their house several times between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on the night of the incident. His roommate was at a party with another male friend and wanted Ricky to join them there after work. Did anyone see Ricky arrive at his home or leave there alone or with others at any time after 10:00 p.m.?

The following morning, during an inspection of Ricky’s room, his shotgun case was found lying on his bed. Ricky was experienced with guns and would not normally have removed the shotgun from its case when taking it from home. There was no sign of forced entry or a struggle at Ricky’s house.

THE CRIME SCENE – Ricky was found in the driver’s seat of his Cadillac. Both doors of the car were closed. The driver’s window was open. The passenger door was locked and its window closed.

Ricky was believed to have been shot at the scene while sitting in the front seat. The shell entered from below his chin and exited the left side of his head. He allegedly pulled the trigger with his left hand. That seems quite awkward, considering how his hands were found in the following photo:

When the driver’s door was opened by authorities, viscous bodily material, believed from the victim, was found on the bottom door jamb. How could this occur, as the door was allegedly closed when the shooting took place?

The trunk of the Cadillac contained numerous items belonging to Ricky. According to his family, he would not normally have had these items in the trunk. Why would he have had them there if he intended to take his own life that night? Ricky always carried a particular pocketknife on his person. It has not been found. He chewed only Copenhagen tobacco, yet a can of Skoal tobacco was found inside his pants. Ricky’s wallet was found to contain $2.00 and various merchant cards. No change was found on him. An empty beer bottle was found on the car seat between the victim’s legs. It was not tested for fingerprints. The victim was found wearing shoes that his family members believe were not his own. Where did those shoes come from?

– Ricky had told his family a few days prior to his death that he had made a mistake moving out. He lived with a roommate only a few days and then asked his family if they would help him get an apartment by himself. They readily agreed, and Ricky was looking forward to moving again.

– Ricky paid his rent, in advance, after cashing his paycheck before leaving Raley’s on the night of his death. Th remainder of the paycheck amount (approximately $150) was not found. What happened to that money, and why would a suicide victim pay rent in advance?

If you have any information that may help, please fax 210-828-4867 or write to:

Unsolved Crimes
PMB #144
6338 N. New Braunfels
San Antonio, Texas 78209