ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - Around James Hiner’s neck is a replica of a necklace Elvis Presley once wore. The lightning bolt was made by Hiner's son Matthew. Self-taught, Matthew Hiner had opened his own jewelry store before going to work at Jared’s in the repair department.
“I told him he was a rising star, just keep doing what you’re doing," said James Hiner.
That star was diminished the night of November 10th, 2015. James Hiner said Matthew was hosting friends. There was a fire at his home.
“People were there, people were over and we really don’t know exactly how it went down, hopefully someday we’ll find out," said Hiner.
After the fire was put out, it was James who found his son’s body in the ashes. Somehow Matthew Hiner could not escape.
“Right now we’re still following up on leads. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten any leads lately," said lead detective Ronald Wentz with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.
Detective Wentz says a large safe was found open, but not forced open. He says robbery was the likely motive. He added for anyone to be in Matthew Hiner’s home, it had to be someone he trusted.
“I’m not saying one of his friends murdered him. I’m also saying it’s not out of the realm of possibility," said Detective Wentz.
The home on Beach Avenue in St. Lucie County has been torn down, the plot sold to a neighbor.
James Hiner told me that last year he and his family held a memorial service there on the one year anniversary of his death. This year he won't, he says it’s just too hard. He won’t even drive down the road.
“We need closure. We need these bad guys captured and taken off the street," said Hiner.
If you have any information, contact detectives at 772-462-3230 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-TIPS.