P.I. Says Sgt. Chris Reyka Murder Case Is Solved
A private investigator working on behalf of a key witness in the much-publicized murder case of Broward County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Reyka says the case is solved and his killers are currently sitting in jail.
Dan Riemer, a veteran local P.I., confirmed to me this afternoon that he has presented a "civilian arrest warrant" to Broward Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes. Riemer says the warrant outlines probable cause in the slaying, which has a $267,000 reward.
Riemer wouldn't discuss the details of the case, but sources said he named alleged drugstore robber 28-year-old Gerald Joshua as the trigger man in the murder. Joshua's name has already come up in media reports as a suspect in the deputy's slaying, which occurred at about 1 a.m. behind a Walgreen's store in Pompano Beach on August 10 of last year. Riemer has dug up new and compelling evidence that he believes proves the robbery gang was involved.
Joshua and three cohorts were charged in January in a string of early morning armed robberies at area Walgreen's stores. The leader of the gang, according to deputies, was Timothy Johnson, who, like Joshua, is currently sitting in the Broward County Jail.
Two of Johnson's siblings, Allen Johnson and Consuela Jones, disposed of four guns linked to the drugstore robberies, one of which they reportedly believed was used to kill Reyka, according to previously published media reports. Three of the guns were found in a canal, but a fourth gun -- the possible murder weapon -- is still missing. The sheriff's office is still searching for the gun.
Deputies charged Consuela Jones with tampering with evidence. Her lawyer is Joe Pappacoda. It was Pappacoda who hired private investigator Riemer to dig into the case.
One of the few clues in the case made public by BSO was a photograph of the white four-door sedan -- possibly a Crown Victoria or Mercury Grand Marquis -- believed to have been driven from the scene by the killers. Sources say that Riemer learned that a local used car lot owner had loaned the white sedan to Joshua and Johnson shortly before the night Reyka was killed. The car has yet to be located.
Riemer learned that the robbers were preparing to hit the Walgreens store in Pompano when Reyka came upon the car. When the 51-year-old sergeant and father of four noticed the car move, he turned on his blue lights and approached the sedan. That's when the killer gunned him down.
Riemer told me he filed civilian arrest warrants in Holmes' courtroom under English common law, which is applicable in Florida so long as it's constitutional.
"It’s news to me, I’ve never heard of anyone applying for a civilian arrest warrant," said sheriff's office spokesman Jim Leljedal. "We’re looking at the Walgreen’s robbers but we don’t have the probable cause or the evidence to charge someone in the case. We’re not going to do it prematurely. We still need a solid case to wrap up this investigation and finally bring some justice to the Reyka family."
Leljedal called rumors that Lamberti -- who is running against Scott Israel to remain sheriff -- was holding off on making the arrest until closer to election day in November "disgraceful."
"The idea that we’re sitting on this case is ludicrous," Leljedal said. "There is no case that we would rather clear than the murder of Sgt. Reyka."