Family members of murdered liquor store owner searching for answers

Flyers were distributed in the area where Renken was killed, sharing contact information for authorities and the $11,000 reward for a tip leading to an arrest. (Scott Garrand/WCIV)

By Natalie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Dorchester Road Port City Liquors store hasn't opened since its owner, 39-year-old Matthew Renken lost his life inside the store in April.

On Friday, Renken's mother Linda stared at the store as her husband embraced her. The pair were there to pass out flyers in hopes of getting answers in the case of Matthew's murder.

"This is the first time I've been to the shopping center since then," Renken said. "The most difficult thing to understand is that my child, the light of my life, is dead."

As difficult as it was for Renken to look at the last place her son was alive, she and her husband Nick Wackym were back at the store Friday where they were escorted by North Charleston police officers and detectives. They walked to each store in the shopping center and asked to put up flyers. On the flyer is Matthew's photo and a question on top, "Who killed Matthew Renken?"

After three months of investigation, that question remains unanswered. On Sunday April 22nd, Renken was found dead inside the liquor store. His final moments were caught on surveillance video released last month. Even the announcement of a hefty reward has still not led to arrests.

In May, North Charleston police detailed more of the case during a press conference. Captain Scott Deckard then said there's evidence of a struggle taking place inside the store during the murder. He also said it appears the person or persons involved entered the store after Matthew had arrived. Police say Renken's Rolex watch was the only missing item from the store.

Police hoped releasing the information about the watch would lead to an arrest.

"I think the neighborhoods, the people, the community, they're scared to death to come forward. People are out there, and I beg you and I plead with you," Wackym said. "I want you to come out and say something through Crime Stoppers."

Friday, the pair even went door-to-door to the homes in the neighborhood behind the plaza in hopes someone who knows something will talk. Several police officers combed the nearby areas as well.

"I really think we need all the help we can get," Renken said. "I can only say what probably a thousand other mothers have said. I'd like to have justice for my son Matthew who was brutally murdered here at his store."

Renken says she doesn't know yet what they'll do with the store, since they've been in such shock. Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 843-554-1111. There's currently an $11,000 reward.