Bernice Gales could count on her son to be waiting at the Baltimore County Metro station after work each night to take her home. But when he was not there to greet her Oct. 19, 2011, she knew something was wrong.
"He was never late," she said.
She learned that night that her 21-year-old son, Ernest Bo Gales, had been found dead, shot multiple times, in his car parked at a Windsor Mill apartment complex.
A year later, Baltimore County police continue to work to close the case but have not identified a suspect. The family is hoping a new offer of a $10,000 reward will generate fresh leads.
Police released surveillance photos Friday recovered from a nearby McDonald's, where Gales went that night to meet people. Detectives have been unable to identify the men at the restaurant or discover how they knew Gales; they know of no reason why anyone would have wanted to kill him.
Detectives believe the three men in the video followed Gales to his car and forced him to drive half a mile to the apartment complex on Salt Lake Drive. Police said he had been talking on the phone to a friend, who called 911.
His death is one of four unsolved homicide in the county, where 30 killings were reported last year.
Metro Crime Stoppers, a volunteer organization, is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case — on top of the $10,000 made available by the family.
"We just thought a year later there would be an arrest," Bernice Gales said. "But those monsters are still out there."
She said her son, who was known as "Neeko," was studying at the Community College of Baltimore County in Catonsville to be a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning technician.
Family members said they are not aware of any trouble Ernest Gales might have been having. According to online court records, he did not have a criminal record in Maryland.
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His mother said he was taking night classes while working as a maintenance technician at Genesis HealthCare in Randallstown. But his dream, she said, was to become a professional disc jockey.
She said her son performed around the county at school dances and other events to complete his service requirements for graduation. He graduated in 2009 from Milford Mill Academy, where he played football.
His bedroom at home remains unchanged, including a Baltimore Ravens wallpaper border that he and his dad hung together, along with a "gigantic" poster of Ray Lewis, she said.
Gales said she found an old CD of recordings he made on his computer. "I haven't had the heart to listen to it yet," she said.
Anyone with information about the identities of the attackers or information about the killing is asked to call police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-756-2587.