By Jennifer Mayerle

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The wife of a man murdered in St. Paul hopes you can help police solve the case.

Mike Stewart and Alejandro Rios died of gunshot wounds a year ago. In a combined push for answers, police are turning to the community to find their killers.

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Ronda Stewart lives with the grief of losing her husband, the father of their son.

“It’s been very hard,” Stewart said. “It’s hard trying to, you know, have a 4-year-old understand that daddy’s in heaven.”

Police responded to a call of gunfire near Payne Avenue and North Street in the overnight hours of Jan. 21, 2021. They found Stewart and Rios with gunshot wounds in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood — becoming the capital city’s second and third murders of the year.

Mike Stewart and Alejandro Rios (credit: CBS)

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“Whoever did this is still, you know, walking the streets, living their lives,” Stewart said.

She believes the two men only knew each other a short time, and may have been staying at the same home. Stewart says her husband was recently out of prison.

“He was trying to do things to better his life and to be able to come home to his family,” Stewart said.

St. Paul police want answers for the families. They’re still searching for a motive and who pulled the trigger. Investigators believe someone staying in the neighborhood knows who’s responsible, and they’re asking them to come forward with information.

“Just please come forward, please give justice to this family, and to Alejandro’s family as well,” Stewart said.

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There is a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. You can remain anonymous.

Jennifer Mayerle