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Police flooded with leads on Cosby case

Ennis Cosby

Entertainer's son buried in Massachusetts

January 19, 1997
Web posted at: 7:15 p.m. EST

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Ennis William Cosby, son of entertainer Bill Cosby, was buried Sunday at his family's estate in Massachusetts while police in Los Angeles coped with a flood of calls offering tips about his killing.

Detectives are working around the clock on the leads, which started pouring in Saturday night after police released a drawing of a suspect in the case: a white man of average height and weight with a menacing stare and wearing a knit cap.

"Robbery-homicide detectives have gotten an overwhelming number of calls," Los Angeles Police Department officer Vince Aguire said.

Possible link to recent shooting

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Those callers included some who pointed out the similarities between the sketch of the Cosby suspect and the drawing on a wanted posted issued in Placer County, California, of a suspect in the shooting of a deputy sheriff there a month ago.

Those tips have caused LAPD detectives to begin checking on a possible connection between the two crimes, Aquirre said.

Placer County Deputy William Doyle is recovering from his wounds after being shot when he shined his flashlight on a man lying on a beach on Lake Tahoe, California, on December 15, 1996.

Cosby, 27, was found dead from a single gunshot to his head on a darkened Los Angeles freeway ramp early Thursday morning. He was apparently changing a flat tire when he was attacked.

The only witness to the crime is a 47-year-old screenwriter. Said to be a friend of Cosby's, she came to help him change a flat tire. When a man with a pistol accosted them, she fled the scene in fear, only to return and find Cosby lying dead next to his Mercedes convertible, a source close to the investigation said.

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While admitting that investigators looking into Ennis Cosby's murder have "no real suspect at this point," Aguirre said detectives hope the sketch of the killer -- along with a drawing of a second possible witness -- will lead to a breakthrough.

But first, Aguirre said, police must pick their way through a maze of phone tips, including those from people who insist they have had dreams that could help investigators solve the murder. "Obviously we won't be following up on some of these calls," he said.

Private burial in Massachusetts

At his family's request, his body was released on Saturday from the county morgue following an autopsy that confirmed he died from a single bullet to the head, officials said.

He was buried Sunday at a private funeral service in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

Earlier, a grieving Cosby told publicist and longtime friend David Brokaw that he was struggling hard to cope with the loss of his only son, who was the inspiration for some of his most touching television comedy.

"Your concentration goes in 18 different directions," Cosby was quoted as saying. "You try to pull things back together but it's like playing with oil and water."

 
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