New details regarding a car used by the suspect who shot a popular Florida State University law professor have been revealed on the one-year anniversary of his mysterious murder.
Dan Markel, 41, was gunned down as he sat in his car in the garage of his home in Tallahassee in broad daylight.
It was a shocking murder that rattled the community as police revealed Markel was the ‘intended target’ and that the suspect had been waiting for him.
On Friday the Tallahassee Police Department released new information about a Toyota Prius that police believe was driven by the suspect on that fateful morning.
Released surveillance photos show that the car had one mismatching black passenger side mirror and was missing a tow-bolt cover on the front bumper, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
The car, which is a model between the years 2006 to 2009 and had tinted windows, was painted a color known as ‘Silver Pine Mica’ that can look green or silver depending on how the light hits it.
There was also a toll transponder in the center of the front windshield, People Magazine reported.
Perhaps most revealing was the fact that, according to police, the owner of the car may not have known the vehicle was used in a crime.
‘(The car) may have possibly been used by the perpetrator of the crime and then returned to the owner unknown to the owner,’ said TPD spokesman Officer David Northway.
The new clues are among the very few that exist in the case than many of Markel’s friends and colleagues fear will grow cold.
Markel, a father of two young sons, was on the phone when he pulled into his driveway on July 18, 2014 and told an unidentified caller on the line that someone was in his driveway.
That person followed Markel into his garage and shot him in the head through the car’s driver side window.
There was no sign of a struggle and nothing was taken from the home of the professor, who was still alive when police arrived at the scene.
Markel died a day later in the hospital from his injuries.
Despite an extensive police investigation, no suspect has been arrested and there has yet to be even a hint of a breakthrough in the case.
In his first public comments on the murder Markel’s father Phillip expressed fears the case will never be solved.
‘I know nothing will bring our son back but we would like some closure,’ said Phillip Markel in an exclusive interview with Daily Mail Online.
‘The investigation seems to have stalled and it is just so frustrating for the family. We want to see the killer caught and brought to justice.’
Mr Markel, who lives in Toronto, Canada, said he has his own theories about who killed his son but said without firm evidence he is not willing to share them.
‘It is frustrating as we are at a standstill and that means we cannot have closure and just have to live with it. That is not the best situation.
‘I have my own theory who killed Dan, but I do not have the proof and am unwilling to share them.’
Some colleagues had speculated that a posting Markel wrote on his now defunct blog PrawfsBlawg.could have somehow been the key to him being targeted.
Markel was the subject of an anonymous threatening post.
‘Bullies like this need to be made radioactive,’ a person wrote about Markel’s comments.
‘Their arrogance and imperiousness speaks for itself. All means necessary must be employed.’
Police have not said if the person who made the post has been traced.
Markel, who was educated at Harvard as well as Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, was also on the receiving end of a series of strange messages.
Several months before his death he began receiving unsolicited Facebook friend requests.
Other friends soon put his mind at rest when they too said they had received the requests. One female friend wrote that she had received four such requests.
At the time of his death, Markel was involved in a contentious divorce with his wife Wendi Adelson who had wanted to return to Miami following the breakup of their nine-year marriage.
The law professor obtained a court order preventing Wendi, who also worked at FSU, from leaving the city with their two children.
Wendi, 35, has since moved to south Florida and has cooperated fully with the police.
Soon after her husband’s murder she quit her job at the University as a professor and left the city. She is believed to be living near her parents Harvey and Donna in Coral Gables, Miami.
Wendi’s lawyer said she was in fear of her life and would not be making any comment until the investigation was resolved.
Friends of Markel said, despite the bitter divorce and breakup of his family, he had moved on with his life.
He was reported to be seeing a new woman,although she has never been identified.
In the day after Markel’s death the anguish for the Markel family was made worse after it was revealed a mix up by the emergency dispatchers led to paramedics taking over 15 minutes to reach the professor.
The caller said:’You need to send an ambulance in a hurry. He’s still alive, he’s still moving.’
Markel died the following day and an internal investigation revealed that his shooting had been wrongly prioritized.
The uncertainty over Markel’s death adds to the pain and grief of his parents Phillip and Ruth.
They have remained in contact with his ex-wife and speak to their grandchildren, Benjamin, five and Lincoln, four.
Mr Markel remains optimistic police can crack the case.
‘Murder is such a serious crime, particularly in Florida where there is the death penalty,’ he said.
‘The person who did this wanted to harm my son, of that I am sure.’
Anyone with information regarding the Dan Markel case should contact TPD’s dedicated tipline at (850) 891-4462. Information can be provided via email to email@example.com