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Ramal Ellis was shot one block from his home. 9 years later, his murder is still unsolved

Ramal Ellis, 23, was shot multiple times the night of November 17th 2013. His parents say he was walking home from a friend’s house.

ST ROSE, La. — Ruthell Ellis can’t help but smile when she talks about her only son.

“This was the prom, very handsome young man,” said Ellis as she held up a framed photo of her son. “I miss him.”

She and her husband Lamar both do. Their son lived with them in their Fourth Street home in St. Rose where the memories never fade. 

“That was my baby. That was our baby. He was,” said Ellis.

Their baby, Ramal Ellis, 23, was shot multiple times on the night of November 1,7th 2013. His parents say he was walking home from a friend’s house and was about a block away from home.

“When they shot my son, I heard it, but I thought it was firecrackers because I told my husband, I said, ‘I wonder who’s shooting firecrackers in November,” said Ellis.

Lamar Ellis called his son. No answer. When he walked down the street, he saw officers with flashlights and someone on the ground wearing familiar tennis shoes.

“That’s how I knew it was him because he was the only one who had them,” said Lamar Ellis. “He had just gotten them. He got them that same day that he died.”

Hours after his death authorities officially identified Ramal as the victim. His parents say they already knew because Ramal never came home that night. 

“I told my wife that’s Ramal laying down there dead, got shot in the back of his head,” said Lamar Ellis.

Just more than nine years after his death, the case remains unsolved.

“He was just lying on the ground, right here,” said Ruthell Ellis as she pointed down to the street.

Ramal’s body was found right next to the church the family attended, which is surrounded by homes. He was unarmed and his parents believe he was set up.

“We think robbery because his mom said he had a wallet. The wallet was missing,” said Lt. Jeremy Pitchford with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Pitchford was the detective assigned to the case. He says bullets and casings were found at the scene. It was also raining that night, cutting down on the number of people who may have been outside.

“I don’t have a witness, which is what I really feel like I need in this case to really tie everything together,” said Pitchford.

What investigators do have is a partial profile of DNA from one of Ellis’ pockets, but there’s been no match.

“If there’s a lead, I would love to run it down,” said Pitchford. “I want to solve this case because I don’t like the idea that you get away with murder.”

A graduate of Destrehan High School, Ellis was studying psychology at Delgado Community College.

“He thought he could read people,” said Ruthell Ellis.

His mom says he loved sports and gaming and was always on the move, but always made time for visits with his parents. Now it’s his parents making time for visits with him.

“This is Ramal Chad Ellis’ tombstone,” said Ruthell Ellis as she walked through the cemetery where her son is buried in St. Rose.

“Every Sunday we come here, every Sunday,” said Lamar Ellis.

With every Sunday visit, they feel as if their son is not at peace.

“It shouldn’t be at all. It should not be. I would have taken his place any day, any day,” said Ruthell Ellis.

Dealing with the grief of losing a child, these parents say their faith in God helps them continue to live their lives until they’re reunited with their son. 

“We had a saying, see you later, so when we leave that’s what we say, ‘See you later’ because we know we will see him later,” said Ruthell Ellis.

Leaving their son’s graveside every Sunday comes with a reminder of reality, one they never stop thinking about.

“That’s a pain in you that you cannot get any type of healing for because there has been no justice and that’s the hardest thing,” said Ruthell Ellis.

Lamar Ellis, the father of Ramal, has now lost all three of his sons. His two others from a previous marriage were also shot and killed. All three cases are unsolved.

In Ramal’s case, there is a $5,000 Crimestoppers reward. Tips are anonymous. The number for Crimestoppers is 504-822-1111.


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