7 On Your Side Investigates: 1 year later, grandmother's killer remains a mystery

BUSHWICK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The daughter of a Brooklyn woman brutally murdered in her home last year says fighting for justice has become her primary purpose for living.

Ana Del Valle, 62, was discovered by her only daughter, Mireya, one year ago, May 11, 2018. It was the Friday before Mother's Day.

For roughly the past three decades, the retired seamstress had lived in a public housing complex in Bushwick, and most recently spent her days doing yoga, cooking, and spending time with her family.

"I had stopped to get her flowers to start the weekend off on a happy note," Mireya remembered. Her mother never received those flowers. Instead, Mireya said, they became part of a memorial outside her mother's apartment.

Mireya came home to find her mother tied up and shot three times, including once in the forehead.

"I can never erase it, that horrific image of my mom," Mireya said. "They tied her up. Some coward with a gun. I try to imagine what she went through lying there the whole day lying there and I had to come and find her that way. It was so brutal."

Two days later detectives with the New York Police Department also learned that Del Valle's neighbor Basil Gray, 54, had been shot and killed.

According to detectives, Gray's family discovered his body when they grew concerned about not hearing from Gray and paid him a visit Sunday, May 13, 2018; in the late afternoon.

Gray's family has never returned Eyewitness News' calls for comment.

Detectives suspect both individuals had been killed, one right after the other around 9:30 Friday morning.

Forensic evidence confirmed the same gun was used in both crimes.

"It was a brazen act," said, Detective Thomas Handley. "I don't think the plan at the moment was to kill two people, but I think that's the way the plan ended up."

The biggest question has always been who the criminal or criminals were after. Del Valle or Gray?

Early on, detectives said they found a small amount of cash missing from Del Valle's apartment and they indicated robbery was a motive they would explore.

Now Eyewitness News has uncovered evidence of a settlement between Gray and a former employer.

The details of that settlement are not available in court records, but sources confirmed Gray had been vocal about a payday.

Del Valle's family often questions whether Del Valle had never been the intended target but rather innocently stepped into the midst of a crime when she'd gone into the hallway that morning to mop the floor.

That mop was still in the hallway when detectives arrived.

"I don't want to say anything that might compromise us now or in the future, but every aspect, every theory is being looked at," Handley said.

In September 2018, Eyewitness News aired exclusive video from police as part of a Crime Stoppers report, showing three people allegedly recorded in heavy coats on Ana's floor the day of her death, seemly over-dressed for a day in May that had reached a high around 72.

"It was a concern, concerning the authenticity of the video," Handley admitted, adding for that now, the video is being treated as authentic. "It's an authentic video up to this point," he said.

While that video has offered leads, detectives have not named any suspects or people of interest.

While Mireya waits for answers, she visits the church her mother attended and prays for justice. She prays for strength.

"I try but it's hard," Mireya said.

She also returned to the Bushwick Houses along with Eyewitness News, a place she has avoided the past year.

"Coming here just opens up that wound," Mireya said.

Outside neighbors offered condolences but no insight into what may have happened that day while Mireya was away at work and her mom was home alone.

"I'm very sorry. I hope they catch whoever did this," said one 40-year resident.

Mireya plans to hold a vigil with her family and friends at the housing complex Friday evening at 6:30 PM, one day before the anniversary of her mother's death.

She also plans to invite the community.

She's confident someone in the Bushwick community has information and has not come forward.

It's her hope that with her presence, and her vigilance, someone finally will.

"It was a couple of gunshots and you are going to tell me you didn't hear anything?" Mireya asked. "These walls are paper thin."

"We miss her," Mireya added. "She was the most precious thing we had. She is not going to be just another statistic, you know, It was our mother."

Mireya is also launching a new website "Justice of Ana Del Valle" and a Facebook page, she plans to use not only to seek justice for her mother but also to pursue an end to gun violence especially in low income, urban neighborhoods.

Crime Stoppers is also offering an up to $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who killed Del Valle and Gray.

Anyone can make an anonymous tip by calling 1800-577-TIPS or by sending a text to "Crimes" (274637). The next step is to type Tips577 followed by the information.

DO YOU NEED A STORY INVESTIGATED? Jim Hoffer, Danielle Leigh and the 7 On Your Side Investigates team at Eyewitness News want to hear from you! Call our confidential tip line 1-877-TIP-NEWS (847-6397) or fill out the form BELOW. You can also contact Jim and Danielle directly: Jim Hoffer: Email your questions, issues, or story ideas to 7OnYourSideJim@abc.com Facebook: facebook.com/jimhoffer.wabc Twitter: @NYCinvestigates Danielle Leigh Email your questions, issues, or story ideas to
7OnYourSideDanielle@abc.com Facebook: DanielleLeighJournalist Twttier: @DanielleNLeigh

Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.