2 men found dead in their truck at Phoenix restaurant's parking lot; family still searching for justice

A month following a shooting that left two people dead in north Phoenix, family members of the victims are speaking out, and demanding answers.

Victims were shot near vacant building

The incident happened near Interstate 17 and Peoria Avenue at around 11:00 p.m. on March 17, at the back of a vacant building next to a LongHorn Steakhouse restaurant. At the time of the incident, most of the businesses in the area were closed for the night.

The victims, according to officials, were found dead inside a white truck with gunshot wounds. They're identified as Gage Neal-Belunas, 20, and Kyle Ford, 23.

People with nearby businesses said while they did not hear any gunshots, they did see police tape and cop cars. They did not think it was anything serious at first. One woman who was walking her dog in the area before police showed up said she had no idea two people were dead inside until someone told her to be cautious.

"They told me to be careful because there’s two bodies back there, which I didn’t think nothing of it because there were no cops there, and there was nothing, nobody, just homeless people walking back and forth there, so I just kept walking, and now walking by again, and now there's all of a sudden cops, so I don’t know how long those bodies were back there before the cops even got there," said the woman, who spoke with us off-camera to protect her identity.

Suspect remains on the loose

As the investigation continues, family members, along with police, are hoping someone will come forward.

"Seeing my sons picture on a flyer, that just breaks my heart," said Ford's father, Clifford Ford. "I never thought I would ever be here, and I hope nobody ever has to."

Family members of the victims say they can't wrap their heads around what happened on March 17.

"What could have happened or what took place?" said Neal-Belunas' mother, Charlene Belunas. "Was he afraid? Did he know what was going to happen? I wish that we had something, and we just don’t."

Clifford said his song, along with Neal-Belunas, were greet friends and aspiring entrepreneurs. He thinks their deaths may have been a craigslist exchange gone wrong.

"My son is very fluent with bartering, as far as like craigslist, OfferUp, so I mean, at one time, he started with a fitted ballcap, and traded his way up to a BMW that he gave his mother, so he does meet people all the time that he doesn’t know, and places which is dangerous," said Clifford. "He is very aware all the time. How he got behind a vacant building – he’s smarter than that. It never happens."

A reward for information leading to an arrest in the case is now at $20,000.

Charlene, meanwhile, hopes justice will be found.

"Most people can tell you what they were doing on St. Patrick’s Day, and maybe that helps someone jog their memory about -- maybe they just saw something that seemed off or weird, and I hope that that is something. Like, anything at this point will help because we have nothing," said Charlene/

Anyone with information should leave an anonymous tip by calling Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. Spanish speakers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Testigo Silencioso at 480-TESTIGO.

Si tiene alguna información sobre este caso, llame a la línea de Testigo Silencioso (480-TESTIGO, 480-837-8446).

Silent Witness


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