DC police looking for connection between brutal unsolved murders

D.C. police investigating two brutal murders -- in which a woman was burned alive in the trunk of her own car and a man was found shot to death on the side of the road -- are looking into the possibility the homicides are connected.

Armani Nico Coles, 27, was found shot dead on Dec. 28 near Interstate 295 at the Maryland and D.C. border. An hour later, and three miles away, Kerrice Lewis, 23, was heard screaming as she tried in vain to escape her burning Lexus, a police source told FOX5. Authorities say she also was shot.

“Anytime you lose a family member, especially like this, it just rips your heart out,” Lewis’ grandfather, William Sharp, told the station.

Friends say Coles and Lewis knew each other and grew up in the same part of D.C., but police have not released any suspects or motive, according to FOX5.

Sharp said he and his wife raised Lewis after her parents died when she was 11.

“Her mother died of a brain aneurysm and her father was tragically murdered up in the D.C. area,” Sharp said, adding Lewis recently spent time in jail but was trying to turn her life around.

Police believe Coles, a custodian for D.C. Public Schools and the father of an 8-year-old boy, was pushed from a car onto the shoulder of the road where he was found dead.

“He lived for his family. He adored me, he adored his son,” his mother, Amber Coles, told FOX5.

Both families are begging anyone with information on the murders to come forward.

“People like that need to be off our streets for the safety of all of us,” Sharp said.