San Diego

20 Years Later, Double-Murder Remains Unsolved

Bryan Sean Carter and Vernon David Bownes were shot and killed in a front yard on Francis Street on Dec. 17, 1997

It’s been 20 years since two men were gunned down while sitting on a picnic table in a San Diego neighborhood but with the passing of the years, the case has only grown colder.

On Dec. 17, 1997, at around 11 p.m., Bryan Sean Carter and Vernon David Bownes were sitting at a picnic table in the front yard of a home on Francis Street when two unknown men walked up and surprised them.

The suspects pulled out a gun and shot both Carter and Bownes in the head, San Diego Police Department (SDPD) investigators said. The victims died at the scene.

Homicide Unit investigators said after the shooting, a man and woman rifled through the victims’ pockets, stealing several items.

[G] San Diego's Unsolved Cold Cases

Two decades later, the suspects remain at large and the double-murder remains unsolved.

On Thursday, the SDPD said detectives were still seeking information on the cold case. Anyone with details on this double-murder can reach out to the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Contact Us