Family, Police Refuse to Give Up on Unsolved Murder

Berkeley police are asking for the public's help in finding the man responsible for a vicious unsolved murder that happened 12 years ago this weekend.

At about 7:15 a.m. on Dec. 17, 1998, San Lorenzo resident Rick DeVecchi noticed a man prowling around the bed of his truck. The truck was parked in the 1900 block of Second Street in West Berkeley, in front of his family's trucking company, police said.

When DeVecchi stepped into the street to investigate, the prowler intentionally ran him down with his car, police said.

DeVecchi was critically injured and died at the hospital.

DeVecchi, who was 37, is survived by his wife of 15 years and two children.

The suspect was described as a black man, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 185 pounds.

The suspect was driving a late model 1970s or 1980s white- or tan-colored Cadillac with a dark landau top and a California license plate.

The car sped west on Hearst Avenue and north on Eastshore Highway toward Gilman Street after hitting DeVecchi.

A reward of $50,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

The case remains unsolved despite being advertised on fliers and billboards. It was featured on America's Most Wanted three times.

DeVecchi's legacy continues to help others, his brother Randy DeVecchi said in a statement.

Donations in Rick DeVecchi's name have been made throughout the Bay Area to organizations including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The largest contributions are typically made in May during the annual Arroyo Car Show, which is held in memory of Rick DeVecchi.

The classic and custom car show is held at DeVecchi's alma mater, Arroyo High School, and raises money for high school sports. Nearly $19,000 was raised last year.

Anyone with more information about the case is asked to contact Berkeley Police Department Homicide Detail at (510) 981-5742 and refer to case number 98-65982.

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