PALMDALE (CBSLA)   Friends and family held an emotional vigil Wednesday evening in Palmdale for a family of three found murdered

CBS2’s Andrea Fujii reported from the vigil where loved ones remembered Richard Gardner III, for riding his bike all over the Antelope Valley. He could be seen hauling supplies for his window-washing company.”Eye Clean Windows.”

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Dozens of family and friends shared stories about the 52-year-old, his dad and his stepmom They were all murdered in their Palmdale home on January 12.

“Very wonderful person who had a lot of trials in his life, but never stopped him. He was so positive,” said Mary Dean-Ronin, Richard’s sister.

His sister said their father, Richard senior, was bedridden at age 78. His wife, 56-year-old Pepper Gardner, and Richard Jr. took care of him .

She said Richard always made she he made time for his dad.

“He just wanted to prove himself to everybody that he could do all the things that he wanted to and he had such great plans and he’s not able to complete them now,” Dean-Ronin said.

Investigators believe James Todd Brown rented space on the Gardner property for his trailer. There was, they believe, some kind of argument and investigators said Brown killed all three. The victims were stabbed, suffocated and beaten. Their three dogs were also bludgeoned to death.

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He is considered armed and dangerous. Officials believe he got away in a 2002 Silver Toyota pickup. They also told Fujii he has a history of domestic violence.

There is a warrant out for his arrest.

Friends of the Gardner family hope someone recognizes Brown and turns him in.


“I can’t believe that he’s out there still, I hope someone finds him,” said Maria Ochoa.

Friends and family say they will always remember Richard Jr. for riding his bike with a big smile on his face.

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“He was never angry at anybody.That’s why this situation doesn’t make any sense why anybody would do such a terrible thing to him,” said his sister Dean-Ronin.