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Heroic Handyman's Murder Still Unsolved

One year after the murder of Jose Cardona, police say they have exhausted many leads and need the public's help.

Fairfax County Police sent out a message Tuesday to the gunmen and two others involved in the murder of Jose Rosales Cardona last year: turn yourselves in.

"We have four people of interest, and my advice to them would be to contact us before we contact you. They know who they are; they know that we know who they are," Detective Chester Toney said at a conference held close to the scene of the crime Tuesday.

Toney said that despite the police's interest in these four people, they still need the public's help in identifying the perpetrators. Today police released portions of a chilling 911 call and a photo of a white truck seen in the area at the time. They hope that someone can identify the voice and the driver of the truck.

"Listen to the tape. See if you recognize those voices. See if those voices match that truck you're going to be looking at...pick up the phone and give us a call," Toney said.

Cardona, the married father of two children, was originally from Guatemala. He lived in the Manassas Park area and worked as a handyman and gardner at a mansion off Compton Road in Centreville. On May 17, 2010, that quiet life was snuffed when two gunmen broke inside the house. 

Toney said today the men were inside the house when Cardona found them. In the call, the gunman repeatedly screams at the occupants of the house to get down while the homeowner's son begs him to stop. 

When Cardona put up a fight and tried to take the gun away from one of the perpetrators, another man turned a gun on the family's mother and ordered Cardona to put it down. According to media reports, the gunman then shot Cardona after he gave back the gun. 

Another conspirator was outside during the ordeal, Toney said. He did not detail the role of the fourth person. 

Police believe the crime was targeted toward this particular family, but could not be more specific at this time. It's a possibility that it was because the father owned a check cashing business the gunmen hoped to find large sums of money, Toney said.  

The suspects were described as black, around 5 feet 10 inches tall, between 20 and 30 years old. Both wore dark clothing. One of the men was light-skinned and had a beard and mustache. The other was darker and had a thin goatee. They should be considered armed and dangerous, police said. There is a $5000 reward for their capture.

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