NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — It was 1986 when Mikhail Shtutin’s American dream turned into a nightmare.
The 47-year-old was found shot to death inside his North Kingstown restaurant that July.
His daughter Marianna was 13 years old at the time.
“I was numb,” she said. “My father was taken from me.”
Marianna told 12 News her father, an architect in Russia, moved to Rhode Island in 1979 for a fresh start.
“He wanted us to have a better life … to have more,” she said.
Mikhail started from scratch when he moved to the United States. Marianna said her father worked numerous jobs before opening Rose’s Express Kitchen on Post Road.
“My father was a go-getter,” she added. “He always wanted to make sure that if he was going to go after something, he was going to get it.”
Marianna is now older than her father was when he was killed.
“He could never walk me down the aisle. He could never hold my babies,” Marianna said. “Everything that I wanted my dad for … he couldn’t.”
According to North Kingstown Police Captain John MacCoy, Mikhail was shot four times at close range with a handgun.
MacCoy said the list of suspects has been limited, since Mikhail didn’t appear to have any enemies or dangerous acquaintances.
“It could have been someone passing through,” he said. “It could have been someone he knew. We’re leaving all of our cards on the table.”
MacCoy said there were no signs of a struggle and it’s unclear whether anything was stolen from the restaurant. No witnesses ever came forward.
Even though it’s been nearly four decades, investigators are urging anyone with information about Mikhail’s death to speak up.
“The tiniest things can break one of these cases wide open,” MacCoy said. “Any kind of information we can get going forward is going to help us put the puzzle back together.”
Marianna said the outpouring of support from the community after her father’s murder was incredible. She keeps the cards and newspaper clippings in an effort to ensure her dad’s name is never forgotten.
“It’s going to be 38 years that he’s been gone,” she said. “Somebody knows something.”
Marianna has even worked with a private investigator. She recently shared his findings with detectives.
Anyone with information regarding Mikhail’s death is urged to contact North Kingstown police at (401) 294-3311.