NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Less than one year after a man moved from Trinidad to Nashville to seek out new opportunities, he was murdered and his killer has never been caught.
Metro Nashville Police Department officers were called to Plus Park Boulevard on Dec. 28, 2019, to investigate a truck that crashed into a guardrail. While officers were on the scene, someone from the Shadowbluff Apartment complex alerted them to a body lying by a dumpster at the back of the property. When detectives went to check it out, they found Errol Raphael dead with a gunshot wound to the head.
Police said Raphael's blood was also found in the truck that crashed. His pockets had also been turned out and his cell phone was stolen. His wallet was untouched.
Raphael's mother said he had moved to Nashville just months before in March 2019. He had been working at the J.W. Marriott hotel in downtown Nashville and was considering driving for Uber Eats to make additional money. She said the 26-year-old was full of life and loved by everyone who met him.
"He would go in a room and just light up that room," said Rhonda Raphael, Errol Raphael's mother. "He just a had joyful spirit."
News of Errol Raphael's death shocked his close-knit family.
"I know my son is in a better place," said Rhonda Raphael. "I know that he is with God."
Police said there were no known witnesses to the crime, but they believe there are people who know what happened. They are asking them to come forward with information because any small detail could help lead them to Errol Raphael's killer.
"Only being a few years old, this case would still be fresh in a lot of people's minds if they were involved in it, or they know who was involved in it," said Detective Matthew Filter with the Metro Nashville Police Department's Cold Case Unit. "Especially, people who remember Errol Raphael. We would love to talk to them."
While his family continues to grieve, they hope answers will come.
"The person who did that I forgive them," said Rhonda Raphael. "That’s the only way I can move forward."
If you have any information on who killed Errol Raphael, you can call the Metro Police Department Cold Case Unit at 615-862-7803. You can also call Nashville Crime Stoppers anonymously at 615-74-CRIME.