January 09, 2000
DATE OF MURDER:
January 09, 2000
LOCATION OF MURDER:
Best Western hotel in Fernley, Nevada
The holidays had just passed and the fear of Y2K was now something to laugh about. The residents of Fernley, Nevada--just like in every other town across America--were settling into the new year and the new millennium.
On January 09, 2000, Christina Aguilera had the number one song in America with What a Girl Wants, Dan Marino won his last NFL game, and the TV show Malcolm in the Middle debuted on Fox.
It was shortly after 9PM on that second Sunday in the new year when a single gunshot rang out from the dirt parking lot on the west side of the Best Western hotel. That solitary shot tragically ended the life of truck driver Roger Kelly on that cold, winter night.
Two decades have since passed, and although the dirt parking lot has been paved over and a car dealership now stands on the spot where this homicide occurred, Roger Kelly's family and the Lyon County Sheriff's Office have not forgotten about this tragic loss of life and the fact that Roger Kelly's murder still remains unsolved.
Photograph of the Kenworth truck Roger Kelly was driving the night of the murder
Roger Kelly with his daughter
Roger Leon Kelley lived in Oregon and was working as a long haul truck driver for Scott Trucking at the time of his death.
On the morning of January 09, 2000, Roger had been in Wells, Nevada before stopping at a rest stop on I-80 that afternoon. When Roger pulled his Kenworth truck into the dirt parking lot of the Best Western in Fernley, it was around 9 PM.
He got out of his truck and opened the engine compartment, using a flashlight for illumination. While doing this he was confronted by the suspect.
It is unknown exactly what transpired next, but what we do know is that Roger was struck in the chest by a single gunshot and died on scene, next to his truck.
The gun was left on scene, and as you can see from the images below, the murder weapon was a crudely manufactured firearm.
Photographs of murder weapon
Although there were no witnesses to the actual shooting, there were many leads that came in. One of those leads was that of a suspicious person in the approximate location of the murder.
This suspicious person was described as a Caucasian male in his late 20s to early 30s, standing between five-foot-seven and five-foot-eleven inches tall and his weight was approximated to be somewhere between 135 to 155 pounds.
A composite drawing of this subject was drafted from witness accounts.
Composite drawing of "person of interest" seen in the area of the homicide
You can watch Reno News 4's most recent update on this case here.
We have surpassed the twentieth anniversary of this unsolved murder and the Lyon County Sheriff's Office is seeking your help in solving this case. To help us, please feel free to download and distribute the flyer from this case.
And if you have any information about this murder, or know someone who does, we urge you to contact the Lyon County Sheriff's Office Detective Division at (775) 577-5206 or the Lyon County Sheriff's Office 24-hour dispatch center at (775) 577-5023.
To provide information anonymously, you can call Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.
Return to the Cold Case main page here.