CAPE CORAL, Fla. — It's a murder case that remains cold to this day. Nine years ago on August 15, 2013, a Cape Coral mother got one of the worst calls any parent can get — that police found her son, 25-year-old Kyle Byrtus, dead in a field in Lehigh Acres.
"It’s hard for me to even comprehend that someone is out there walking around that has done this to my son," said Lynne Kreger, Kyle's mom. "I'm trying to do as much as I possibly can."
It's hope Kreger hangs on to, along with photos of her son. She went through some on Monday, the anniversary of his death. Kreger talked about her son's life struggles in his final years, specifically his drug habit.
But she says no matter what, her son did not deserve to die the way he did — left in a rainy field in 2013.
"There’s this little part of me that still expects him to walk in the door," Kreger said. "I still love him. I always tell him that. I still talk to him."
Though Kreger knows he can never walk through the door, and she cannot change the past — even if she replays those "what if" questions any parent who loses a child asks, she's still looking for answers.
"Some days it [hope] has dwindled, but I know something's gotta give," she said.
It's a message echoed by SWFL Crime Stoppers.
"All we need is one tip from one person that can make all the difference and breathe life into this case," said Trish Routte with SWFL Crime Stoppers. "If you are the person that has the information, that is a heavy thing to hold onto for nine years, so you’d be doing yourself a favor too and getting that information off your back."
Over the years, tips have come into the Lee County Sheriff's Office and Crime Stoppers, but nothing has stuck.
"There were some names put on the radar, but nothing that was able to parlay forward to an arrest," Routte said.
An arrest and answers Kreger has been waiting nine years for as a killer remains out there.
"I just want to know why. What did he do that was so bad?" Kreger said. "If anyone knows anything, even if you even knew him, if you remember seeing him somewhere, if you haven’t talked to anyone, call Crime Stoppers."
There is still a cash reward for a tip that leads to an arrest. You can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous.