10 years later, murder of Merced County couple still a mystery

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Bill and Lena Chapman were killed in their home on Oct. 1, 2006 then the house was set on fire to destroy the evidence. A decade later, the couple's children are still pleading for answers.

Bill and Lena Chapman were found dead inside what was left of their home on Oct. 1, 2006.

"These are our parents," said Jim Chapman, the couple's son. "They were murdered 10 years ago and the crime is still not solved."

It's been a decade since Bill, 91, and Lena, 81, were killed but the family said they remember it like it was yesterday.

"You're always going to remember this," Jim said. "People say, 'Oh, it'll take time.' Well, we're never going to get over this. Your parents were taken in a violent manner and we know they were in pain."

The family passed out fliers to nearby businesses Friday, hoping anyone comes forward with information that will help solve the case. Police said the couple was killed in their home on South Bear Creek then the house was set on fire to destroy the evidence but the family is not giving up on finding the suspects.

"How long have you been passing out these fliers?" Karen Bohrer, one of the Chapman's daughters, was asked.

"Probably about 9 years," she replied.

Bohrer said they've been passing out these fliers every year around the anniversary of the homicide so people won't forget.

"That is our big fear," Bohrer said. "That's why we go out every year and do this."

Detective Joe Deliman with the police department said there are people of interest but not enough evidence to make an arrest but that the case is very much active.

"I literally talked to someone about this case every two or three months in the past," he said. "I've talked to at least a couple people."

The family said the couple was well-known in the community. They lived in the area for several years, their dad owned a business and had goals to live until he was 100. The family said while they'll never forget that horrible day 10 years ago, they do hope to get some closure.

"We're just hoping somebody will remember something that would be helpful," Bohrer said.

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homicide investigationmerced countyMerced
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