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Family members, police look for public’s help on 20-year anniversary of fatal attack that left man beaten in Tacoma Community College parking lot

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on Feb. 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
February 25, 2013 8:50 pm

Robert Radford was found badly beaten in the parking lot of Tacoma Community College 20 years ago Tuesday, with injuries that led to his death five months later.

On the anniversary of the attack, his family and Tacoma police detectives are asking for the public to help them find answers in the unsolved case.

Radford, 38, was last seen by an acquaintance at about 1:45 a.m. on Feb. 26, 1993, at a bar in the 1100 block of Commerce Street downtown. He was leaving with two unknown people in a green, full-size pickup from the 1970s, Tacoma police Detective Gene Miller said.

He was found a few hours later with extensive injuries consistent with physical assault, Miller said, and stayed at a care facility until he died that July.

“I just don’t understand how people can do that to each other,” Radford’s sister Megan Newton said Monday. “Maybe someone will come forward and say: ‘Oh, I remembered.’

“Sometimes you could walk in (the care facility) and he was reliving some kind or horror, you could tell on his face. It was horrible.”

Radford was running his own house painting business in Tacoma at the time of his death, and liked to do oil paintings in his spare time, Newton said.

She said he is survived by a son and daughter, now both adults, and several grandchildren.

Anyone who is familiar with Radford, may have seen him in the hours before his death, or who may have information about the occupants of the green truck is asked to contact police.

Callers can reach Miller at 253-591-5506, or can leave tips anonymously through Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers at 253-591-5959.

The case is one of 160 unsolved cases dating back to 1961 about which Tacoma police are still seeking information.

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