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Police release composite sketch of Cosby slaying suspect

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January 18, 1997
Web posted at: 9:45 p.m. EST

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Los Angeles police Saturday night released a composite sketch of the suspect in the roadside murder of Ennis Cosby, son of entertainer Bill Cosby.

The sketch depicts the suspect as a white male of average height and weight who was wearing a light-colored knit cap at the time of the killing.

Police also released a sketch of a second white male, believed to be a witness, who is in his late 20s to early 30s with dark hair.

car sketch

Speaking at a Saturday night news conference, Cmdr. Tim McBride of the Los Angeles Police Department urged the unidentified witness, who was pictured with a mustache and goatee and dark beret, to come forward so police could interview him.

The possible witness was driving a hatchback with a large window and a possible out of state license plate of GRH-921.

Police have made no arrests in the case, but "have lots of leads," McBride said. "We're not by any sake desperate at all. We expect arrests soon."

Primary witness afraid

Ennis in 1987

The composite sketch was based on statements provided during the course of several interviews by a woman who may have seen the killer.

"The primary witness has been afraid," said McBride. "She's been interviewed numerous times, and it took that to get the composite done."

Cosby, 27, was gunned down by the side of his Mercedes-Benz sometime before 1:45 a.m. Thursday after he stopped to change a flat.

Cosby had called the woman, reportedly a new friend, to provide light so he could change the tire. She was sitting in her car near Cosby's car when a man tapped on her window, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.

The woman reportedly drove off and returned moments later and found Cosby dead.

Police have asked that her identity not be revealed.

Cosbys plead for restraint


Amid intense interest in the case, Bill Cosby, the victim's father, released a statement Saturday asking for media restraint.

"The Cosbys respect the job of the journalists. However, we do not accept media coming to our homes because this is a time we want to ourselves to find solutions to questions in our hearts. We find it damaging for the media to have this photo op agenda."

Robbery as 'probable motive'


McBride said robbery is the "most probable motive" in the shooting. "We have a $100,000 vehicle out there, we have somebody that's changing a tire that's very vulnerable, very easy to rob them. What other possible motivation would be most likely?"

Williams said investigators also are interviewing several 911 callers and others who may have seen events before and after the shooting. The 911 tapes won't be released so as not to compromise the investigation, McBride said.

Cosby's body was released, but the coroner's office would not say where it was taken. Arrangements for a private funeral were pending, Cosby family spokesman David Brokaw said. A memorial service for the public was also being considered, he said.


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