‘Like a gangster-style murder’: Henrico Police seek help solving 22-year-old double homicide

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — On February 11, 1998, Allen Ripka and Shelly Schantz were found murdered in their western Henrico home on Sleepy Duck Road. Decades later, Henrico Police ensure the public that they have not forgotten about the case.

Henrico County Public Relations & Media Services created a documentary-style recap of the murder investigation years ago, interviewing parents of the victims and Investigator Robert Hewlett of the Henrico Cold Case Unit.

Henrico Government re-posted the video to social media this week — 22 years after the unsolved crime — in hopes that anyone with information comes forward.

In the video, Hewlett explains the scene as officers arrived. Henrico Police heard crying from upstairs inside the home and found one of the victim’s 3-year-old child in his crib unharmed. The scene left little traceable evidence and struck investigators as a murder-for-hire.

“The scene was almost like a hit, like this was a gangster-style murder.”

Investigator Robert Hewlett

The scene left Henrico investigators at a loss, saying that they had never seen a crime scene that had the absence of vital forensic evidence.

The murder remains unsolved, and Henrico Police are seeking help from the community for any tips that may give closure to the victims’ families, and bring the killer to justice.

Any information regarding the case can be reported to Henrico Police at (804) 501-5304, or Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 to provide information anonymously.

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