WASHINGTON - Police are investigating two gruesome unsolved murders in the D.C. area and trying to determine if they are connected.
Armani Nico Coles, 27, was found shot on the road on Dec. 28 at around 6:20 p.m. near Interstate 295 at the Maryland and D.C. line. About an hour later and three miles away, 23-year-old Kerrice Lewis was discovered in the trunk of a burning car on Adrian Place near Ridge Road in Southeast D.C. She was also shot, according to police.
Friends say Coles and Lewis knew each other and grew up in the same part of D.C.
Police have not provided information on suspects or a motive, and no arrests have been made nearly one week later.
"Devastating. Can't put it in words," said Lewis' grandfather William Sharp.
Sharp said he and his wife raised Lewis after her parents died when she was about 11 years old.
"Her mother died of a brain aneurysm and her father was tragically murdered up in the D.C. area," Sharp said.
He said the deaths put his granddaughter on a rough path. She ended up serving time behind bars recently, but Sharp said she was trying to do better, and her family does not know who is responsible for such a savage killing.
Sharp said the burning Lexus vehicle that Lewis was found in was her own car. A police source said Lewis was screaming and trying to escape as the car burned.
"Anytime you lose a family member, especially like this, it just rips your heart out," Sharp said.
The family of Armani Coles knows the same grief. Prince George's County police are investigating his death since he was found in Capitol Heights. Police believe he was pushed from a car onto the shoulder of the road at Kenilworth and Eastern avenues.
"He lived for his family. He adored me, he adored his son," said Amber Coles, who spoke with FOX 5 last week.
Coles was a father to an 8-year-old son and worked as a custodian for D.C. Public Schools.
"He never was involved in violence. No drugs, no anything. His family was his life," his mother said.
The family for both Lewis and Coles are begging anyone with information to come forward.
"People like that need to be off our streets for the safety of all of us," Sharp said.
If you have information on Coles' death, you can contact the Prince George's County Police Department's Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925 or stay anonymous by calling Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
Anyone with information on Lewis' death can contact D.C. police at 202-727-9099.
It appears Lewis also knew a third person who was murdered in the D.C. area on that same day on Dec. 28. Her last post to Instagram was a picture of Ronzay Green, a 23-year-old who was shot Thursday morning on Eastern Avenue in Northeast. D.C. Police later arrested 23-year-old Dennis Whitaker of Northeast D.C.