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Father tries to reheat cold case surrounding son's murder

Posted at 5:11 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 04:05:41-05

James Hiner sighs heavily as he stands on what is now an empty plot of land off Beach Avenue in Port St. Lucie.  It was once the home of his son Matthew.

“We had a lot of great times here," Hiner said Tuesday.

On the night of Nov. 10, 2015, there was a fire. Somehow Matthew could not escape.

The next day, James Hiner discovered his son's body in the ashes. Matthew's death was ruled a homicide.

“There’s not a day or night that goes back that I don’t see that burnt skull in that house," said James Hiner.

Matthew Hiner was a jewelry repairman, who made his own custom creations. Investigators say a safe inside was open, but not forced open, making robbery the likely motive.

James Hiner is frustrated by sleepless nights and the lack of leads. “We need justice for Matt but we need these people off the street.”

In their son’s memory, the family recently set up a bench in front of the Melbourne Public Library.

“Matt loved the water so much, when we want to visit Matt, we sit on his bench and look out at the Intracoastal," said James Hiner.        

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office says it continues to investigate the case.