The men suspected of murdering Russell Baldree are now behind bars, but that provides little comfort for family and friends. They say since Russell was killed in August, they've felt an emptiness that can't be filled.
Friends and family say they have a lot of love for Russell. They say he was a person with a big heart, and a great sense of humor who will never be replaced.
"People go through this whole life without a best friend, and I was born with my best friend," said Russell's twin brother, Robert.
After 28 years, his best friend and brother was taken away. "We did everything together. We woke up in the morning and hit the floor running," said Robert.
|Reports State Baldree Murder Random Act of Violence|
Over the years, Russell developed a strong friendship base. About a dozen of his friends and co-workers remembered him with smiles, and they can't say enough.
"We can do a whole week of pieces like this and it still wouldn't cover half of it," said friend and co-worker, Raymon Rodriguez.
Russell was a cardiac surgical technician at Covenant Medical Center. Rodriguez has known him for almost eight years. He says the surgery room is a much emptier and quieter place without who he calls, "the jokester."
"I guess Russell was a friend every guy or anybody should ever have. He was the type of guy-- he was a jokester, a clown. That's what we remember most," said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said even during surgery, Russell always cracked jokes and made him smile. Many friends have been the butt of practical jokes many times.
As Robert looked at his favorite picture of his twin, he recalled how he and his brother grew up on the water...a love which never died.
Robert says it's a difficult situation to endure. "I can't even put it into words," said Robert, "There's not a second in the day that goes by that I don't think about him."
Robert says the shooting in August took a special and caring person out of this world. He's been coping with the fact that he'll never see his brother again, and only one thought provides comfort.
"Because the way we were brought up, I know where he's at. I know he's fine, and that's what gets me through," said Robert.
Robert says his brother never had anything to do with the murder suspects. He also wants to pass along his gratitude to those who have supported the family through letters and kind words.
At the time of the murder, police had hardly any leads to work with. Robert says the Lubbock Police Department did a great job of uncovering what happened to his brother.
|Courts & Crime|