NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Authorities have increased a reward for information leading to an arrest in the case of a 39-year-old businessman who was found dead in a North Charleston liquor store.
A reward of $11,000 is now being offered for information on the death of Matthew Renken who was found at Port City Liquors on Dorchester Road on April 23.
Authorities say Renken, found lying next to a handgun on the floor of the store, was missing his gold Rolex watch, described as "very valuable." Authorities do not believe any money was taken from the store after Renken was shot.
The reward is offered to any person who plays a significant role in providing information to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest in this murder. The family of is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of persons involved in this crime in addition to the normal Crime Stoppers reward of $1,000.
North Charleston police say there were signs of a struggle in the Dorchester Road business of Matthew Renken, found dead by his stepfather around 8 a.m.
In May, when asked whether the handgun belonged to Renken and if it was the gun used to shoot him, Cpt. Deckard said he would not comment on that part of the investigation.
Investigators believe the shooting happened between 10 p.m. Apr. 22 and 1 a.m., Apr. 23. Deckard said the list of suspects was getting shorter, but would not name any of them.
Deckard said "People were traveling back and forth through the parking lot, whether that's through video, evidence or statements that we've obtained through other people that were out that night."
Authorities say when officers arrived, the store's front door was locked. Officers then went to the rear of the store where they found the rear door standing open and a man standing behind a vehicle.
Police say the man flagged police over and said that he thought his stepson might be dead.
A police report states that one of the officers then entered the store and found Renken's body in the back of the shop in an office. A black handgun was laying on the floor next to him.
Based on two weeks of investigation, the Charleston County Coroner was confident enough to rule Renken's death as a homicide. Rae Wooten said she was waiting on forensics to help her make a decision.
The public is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers if they, or someone they know, have any information regarding these murders, or of any other crimes, by phone at 554-1111 or 1-888-CRIME-SC (1-888-274-6372), or on the web at www.5541111.com.
Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "CSL." All contact remains anonymous and tipsters could earn a sizeable reward.
The Renken family released the following statement on Tuesday:
It's been more than two months since our son, Matthew Renken, died at the hands of another person in his liquor store in North Charleston. We know that the North Charleston Police Department is working hard on this case and thank them for their continuous effort on our son's homicide. We feel that some individuals in our community may know what happened that evening of April 22, 2012 to Matthew and we are asking anyone with information of that night to please come forward with any information. All tips to Crime Stoppers are anonymous, but if your tip leads us to the person or persons who committed this heinous crime, you will be rewarded the $11,000 reward.
All we want is to find whomever did this our son. Matthew was kind, loving, generous and made friends wherever he went. We want to make sure that the person(s) who did do this never have another chance to kill someone's brother, son or uncle. Our hearts are heavy and all we want is a resolution to our son's senseless death. No parent should endure this heartache.
All it takes to pass on information is one call to 554-1111, or toll free to 1-888-CRIME-SC. Every call is treated with absolute anonymity so that nobody will know the identity of the caller, except you, the caller. Rewards are available and are paid to people who call the program and their information leads to an arrest. All without compromising a caller's anonymity.
Please do the right thing. We must all do our duty to stop this wave of domestic terrorism i.e. random murders, drug-related crime and fear that is sweeping our cities, states and our country. God help us recover our humanity.
Linda Renken and Nick Wackym
The Renken Family