The death of Darien police Officer Kenneth Bateman in 1981 remains the only unsolved murder of a police officer in Connecticut. Today, the Darien police continue to honor the memory of its fallen comrade through a vigil held earlier this week and a blood drive to be held June 17.
Bateman was killed in the early morning of May 31, 1981, when he was dispatched to the Duchess Restaurant on Post Road in Darien on a report of a silent alarm going off. As he approached the building, somebody burst through a side door and opened fire. Bateman was pronounced dead at Norwalk Hospital a short time later. His killer was never found.
The Darien Police Honor Guard paid tribute to the 30th anniversary of Bateman's death Tuesday by standing vigil at the Kenneth E. Bateman Jr. Memorial in front of the police station on Hecker Avenue. From midnight to 3:30 a.m., six members of the Honor Guard took turns standing outside the memorial in a "Parade Rest" stance, rotating every 30 minutes. The time frame represents the shift that Bateman worked the night he was killed.
Bateman, 34 at the time of his death, was a seven-year veteran of the Darien Police Department. He was a member of the SWAT team as well as the department's marine division. Before joining the force, he was served in the U.S. Navy. He was survived by his wife, Barbara, and his parents.
Despite an exhaustive search for his killer, no charges have ever been brought. One suspect, Anthony Sabato, was identified in 2004, but there was insufficient evidence to make an arrest.
Every year a scholarship is given to a Darien student in Bateman's name. The third annual blood drive in his honor will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 17 at the Piedmont Club. A $100,000 reward is in place for information leading to an arrest in the death. Police ask that anybody with any information contact the Detective Division at 203-662-5330.
Are you planning to give blood in honor of Officer Bateman?
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