“Person of interest” resurfaces in unsolved double murder

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Connie Land, mother of murder victim Sydney Land, asks the public to come forward with information about the unsolved case. Photo Dana Gentry
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Connie Land, mother of murder victim Sydney Land, asks the public to come forward with information about the unsolved case. Photo Dana Gentry

A year ago, on the first anniversary of the murders of 21-year-old Sydney Land and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Nehemiah Kauffman, the primary person of interest in the slaying, Shane Valentine, was no longer on the radar of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police.

“At this time we can say he is not our suspect,” Lt. Dan McGrath told the Las Vegas Sun at the time.  

Today, on the eve of the second anniversary of the still unsolved murders, Valentine is again a person of interest, according to Metro Homicide Lt. Ray Spencer.  

“I can tell you he’s definitely a person of interest,” Spencer said, declining to name another person of interest with alleged connections to Valentine, who is serving time in the Ely State Prison for burglary and discharging a firearm into a building.  

At a news conference outside Metro headquarters, Connie Land pleaded with the public to come forward with any information that may help police solve the case.

“This is a very small town and the circles that they ran in are very small,” Land said. “ There are people out there who know who has done this. There are people who are not willing to come forward to this point.”  

“I am not scared to come forward.  I’ve been talking for two years.”

Land spoke to the Current extensively in June about an alleged prostitution and crime ring believed by some to be recruiting the daughters of police and judges.  

“We know for a fact that there are a few individuals that have information that would solve this case,” Spencer said Thursday.  “We urge them to contact us to provide details that will allow two grieving families justice in this case.”

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, a grandson, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.

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