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Cold Case: Murder of U.S. Marine Remains Unsolved Two Years Later

The murder of an Evansville marine remains unsolved two years later. David Basham was gunned down outside his Evansville home in December 2017. That shooting triggered a tsunami of uncertainty for his family.

Basham’s niece Paige Basham says, “He was always my hero growing up to whenever he went to Iraq which at the time I didn’t really realize how serious that was.”

In 2004, the Iraq War had begun, and Basham wanted nothing more than to serve his country. By September of 2004 more than 1,000 soldiers had died in Iraq. His sister Schelle Shelby says, “He was proud of his country and was proud of where he was from and this was something that he knew like I said he was born to do, he would say that ‘I was born to be a marine’. He was born to be a marine. He knew he would be the best.”

Under the pressure of the war, Basham served only one tour. Back in the states, Basham returned to Camp Pendleton in California, but his experiences overseas followed him and with his support system hundreds of miles away a tough decision had to be made.

“He is a family guy and I know he missed all of us and didn’t want to deal with the things he was dealing with alone, mentally, so he came back home,” says Schelle Shelby.

In 2006, Basham returned to the Evansville area and started a family. He welcomed a daughter in 2007 and a son in 2015. Though, Basham’s time with his family would be cut too soon.

On December 16th, 2017, about a half hour to midnight, police were dispatched to Basham’s home on East Missouri Street for reported shots fired. Prior to the shooting, Basham told his neighbor to call 911. According to court documents, Basham had been shot in the groin in severing his femoral artery.

Schelle Shelby says, “He coded when he got to the ER. They took him to surgery one of our vascular surgeons repaired the severed artery, but he lost so much blood.”

For the next six weeks, family and friends were by his bedside every day. Paige Basham says, “One minute we were all there with David wondering about him and the next minute we were like who shot him? What was he doing? Who was he talking to? Where was he going? Who was he hanging out with?”

While Basham fought for his life on that hospital bed officers were trying to track down who was responsible. Schelle Shelby says, “He made friends with everybody he was around so he might be running around with one person and get introduced to another one and start running around with them and I think progressively in some aspects of his life there were some people who may not have been the best influence for him.”

Just six weeks after being shot Basham died from an anoxic brain injury which causes the brain to lose oxygen.

Paige Basham says, “Sometimes I’m in denial. David is just away he’s still here. I think that’s my biggest thing I’ve been in denial for about two years now until it hits me, and I honestly don’t think that will ever go away. When something good happens in my life it’s sad because one of the first things I want to do is call my mom, but I want to call David. When I passed my huge exam I studied for. I balled into tears because I realized I couldn’t tell him and I’m afraid that’s going to happen every single time I have something big happen.”

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