One year has passed since the death of Yolanda Stone, and her suspected killer remains on the run. It is not uncommon for a homicide case to remain open because an arrest has not been made, but Stone’s case is different; her alleged killer is her ex-boyfriend, Reynaud Cook, and he has been on the run ever since he allegedly shot Stone several times in front of their children Feb. 15, 2012.
Stone later died from her injuries on May 20, 2012; a medical examiner pronounced her death a homicide a day later.
In the year since, Stone’s sister, Desirae Ross, and Stone’s three children have left the D.C. area. She says her family fears returning to the District with Cook at large.
“We just want Cook off the streets,” Ross said.
She says she’d like to return, but “as long as he’s on the streets, I’ll never come back to D.C.,” Ross said.
Although Cook has yet to be apprehended, a grand jury indicted him on charges of first-degree murder, first- and second-degree cruelty to children, contempt and weapons charges in connection with the case. A bench warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The case continues to be investigated; Metropolitan Police Detective Dwayne Partman took over investigation of the case after the previous detective, Monica Shields, retired in November. Partman said that he is currently working leads as to where Cook may be. He would not comment on whether he believed Cook to be in D.C.
Ross believes that Cook remains in the area.
“Somebody out there knows where he is,” Ross said.
Ross said Stone and Cook’s relationship lasted for nearly nine years. Stone “never really talked about the relationship,” she said.
But Ross said she later learned of a pattern of domestic abuse. Stone told her sister in June 2011 Cook had physically abused her after an incident that landed Stone in a battered women’s shelter. Cook fled the home before police arrived.
Police took Stone to the battered woman’s shelter and she stayed there for a month and a half. She then decided to leave Cook, and a restraining order was issued against him, Ross said.
After Stone left the woman’s shelter she went to live with Ross; the only contact Stone had with Cook was when they spoke about their children. And when Stone dropped the kids off at their father’s house, she wouldn’t get out of the car, Ross said.
Stone’s refusal to have face-to-face contact frustrated Cook, so he began following her home from work. Security guards escorted Stone to her car each evening and Cook eventually stopped, Ross said.
It was confusion over a restraining order, though, that shattered their uneasy standoff.
On Feb. 15, 2012, Neval Thomas Elementary School called Cook and asked him to pick up one of the children, who was sick. Stone had forgotten to give school officials a copy of the restraining order against Cook, because it was filed during the summer when school wasn’t in session, Ross said. School officials released the child to Cook.
Cook called Stone and told her that he had their child. Stone then picked up her daughter and nephew, and went to Cook’s house.
Neighbors say there was an argument outside and then they heard gunshots, Ross said.
Stone was found seriously wounded by police responding to the gunshots. She was taken to a hospital where she survived until her death approximately three months later.
MPD says “anyone who has knowledge of this case, knows the suspect’s location or sees him should take no action, but should immediately call police at 202-727-9099. Additionally information may be submitted to the TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 50411. The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.”