Memorial walk for slain brothers scheduled for Oct. 13

October 4, 2012 

A walk remembering two brothers who were victims of violence is scheduled to happen next week in Merced.

The Fourth Annual Riley Brothers Victims' Visual Walk is slated to take place 12 p.m. Oct. 13. The walk is in honor of Marlis Riley, 27, and Michael Riley, 29, who were killed less than a year apart from one another in Oct. 2008 and Sept. 2009 respectively.

The walk is being organized by their mother, Marylene Riley. It will start in the FoodMaxx parking lot at 1300 W. Olive Ave. and will continue down Meadows Avenue. A prayer will happen at the sites where the brothers were killed, according to an announcement from Riley.

A Navy veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Michael Riley was an honors student at Merced College when he was shot to death the night of Oct. 7, 2008 outside the Village Meadows Apartments, in the 1100 block of Loughborough Drive.

Michael was planning on transferring to either California State University, Stanislaus, or the University of California, Berkeley at the time of his death, with an ultimate goal of achieving a degree from Harvard Law School. Merced police say his death remains unsolved and the motive unknown.

Marlis Riley was killed Sept. 12, 2009 after a fight with two men, Nicholas Terrill Rhodes, 27, and Donald Emory Watts, 40, at a residence in the 1400 block of Conestoga Drive. Both men pleaded no contest to charges of involuntary manslaughter and were sentenced to four years in prison.

The office of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has offered a $50,000 reward to anyone offering information leading to an arrest in Michael Riley's death.

Merced police are asking anyone with information about Michael Riley's death to call Detective Joe Deliman at (209) 385-6992, Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 386-4702 or the department’s automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Calls are kept confidential, and you can remain anonymous.

-- Victor A. Patton

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