Payne’s parents: closer to finding murderer

By Maggie Cassidy, News Staff

The parents of Rebecca Payne, the Northeastern student shot to death in her Mission Hill apartment two years ago, said police recently told them there are “persons of interest and some leads” in the case of her murder, which has not produced any arrests to date.

“They’re pretty sure that Becca was not the intended target, that it was a case of mistaken identity,” Nicholas Payne told The News.

Rebecca Payne was 22 when a building manager found her dead in her Parker Hill Avenue apartment on May 20, 2008. The athletic training major had been shot twice in the legs and once in the chest.

Nicholas Payne said Boston Police Department investigators “seem pretty sure” that the killer or killers entered his daughter’s apartment through her patio door.

Boston Police Department spokespeople said they were unable to confirm Nicholas Payne’s comments yesterday.

Nicholas Payne and his wife Virginia walked around Mission Hill Thursday, handing out leaflets asking people to come forward if they have information about their daughter’s death. The leaflets highlighted a $25,000 reward the Paynes announced in the months after the murder for information leading to an arrest in the case. Northeastern contributed $5,000 to the reward, Nicholas Payne said.

Several neighbors were reported to have heard gunshots hours before Rebecca Payne was found dead, but did not call police. One neighbor living in Rebecca Payne’s building told The News on the day of the shooting that he didn’t call police because hearing gunshots is not out of the ordinary in his neighborhood.

Nicholas Payne said while he and his wife must still “live with the possibility that we might go back again [to hand out flyers on Mission Hill] next year,” he is hopeful that people who were silent two years ago might come forward now.

“In a case like this, time is on our side,” he said.

The Payne family will hold a memorial service in Rebecca’s name at St. John’s Episcopal Church, located at 7 Whittlesey Ave. in New Milford, Conn., Saturday at 3 p.m.

Leave a Reply