PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been three years since 26-year-old architect Amber Long was shot and killed in Northern Liberties during a robbery.
“There’s very, very minimal to go on,” says Philadelphia Homicide Detective Sergeant Robert Kuhlmeier.
“When you don’t have new leads coming in, we go back over cases and make sure we are completely satisfied with what was done in the investigation.”
Detectives say they have studied and reviewed the surveillance video hundreds of time, which points directly to the crime, looking for additional clues.
It was around 10:30 p.m., January 19, 2014: Amber and her mother Stefanie Long were walking on Front Street, near Poplar, to get Amber’s car after an evening out in the city. In the video, Stefanie is seen trailing just a stride behind her daughter.
A black Chevy Impala slowly drives down the street, and just seconds later, both Amber and her mother start to walk into the view of the camera.
Two men can be seen, in hoodies, approaching the pair of women.
Stefanie says the men came out of nowhere, one grabbing her purse and taking off. Her keys drop, Amber turns around to look at her mother and that’s when the other man grabs for Amber’s bag.
“She had a hold of her purse. He had a hold of her purse,” Stefanie says, crying over the phone as she recalls the night.
Amber can be seen struggling with a man trying to pull the purse off her shoulder. In the video, the petite blonde is seen bearing down, holding a tight grip of her purse straps. She had just bought the bag earlier that day.
“And then there was a little pop, just like a cork out of champagne. It sounded just like that.”
The suspect shot Amber once in the chest.
“That’s really all that it takes to end somebody’s life, all the effervescent — that was Amber running out in the street,” Stefanie sobs. “It was just a little tiny hole, it didn’t even bleed much.”
The two men take off in a newer model black Chevy Impala, with New York plates. Stefanie says she could see the car had a cream-color interior.
Kuhlmeier describes the men.
“A taller guy and a very short guy, and they are getting out of that type of vehicle. It could be a rental, or it could have been loaned by a family member or someone else that they knew,” says Kuhlmeier.
An SUV driving by stops and calls 9-1-1. When police arrive, Stefanie says one of the officers says ‘I’m not waiting!’ and puts Amber into his patrol car, speeding off to the hospital. Amber is pronounced dead a short time later.
“Amber was sunshine,” Stefanie says. “She was my best friend.”
Philadelphia police say they still comb through the case to see if they missed anything, but they need the public’s help in finding the missing piece of the puzzle.
“If there is something that is on someone’s mind, and they always have that ‘What if I would have said something?’” says Kuhlmeier. “Maybe it would have helped kind of thing, we would like to know that information.”
As with every homicide in the city, there is a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.