Daughter seeks closure years after dad’s murder: ‘He got up to go to work and he got killed’

Blackstone Valley

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Kristen Butler said you’d never guess it, but her dad was hysterical.

“A dry sense of humor,” she said talking about her father, Carl Seebeck.

They became closer later in life, and it was that dry humor that they always had in common.

“Just out there, you know?” she said. “You would think he was serious, but actually he was a jokester.”

His humor was second only to his love for his family.

“He had a gruff exterior,” she added. “But he definitely had a heart. Definitely, definitely had a soft heart.​”

A Daily Routine

The man with the jokes and the heart of gold worked for years at the Providence train station.

Every morning was the same.

Carl would wake up before the sun rose at his Pawtucket home. Like the New Englander he was, he’d first stop at Dunkin’ Donuts to get his regular coffee.

He would walk over to the corner store across the street to get the days newspaper.

Then, Carl would head to the bus stop and wait.

On August 29, 2008, his routine ended when he was shot to death.

“I just screamed, ‘What hospital?’ and that’s when my cousin told me he didn’t make it,” Kristen recalls.

Police said it was likely a random shooting. They said it’s possible it could have been an attempted robbery that turned ugly.

“We’re going on 11 years of no answers,” Butler said. “No rhyme or reason. He got up to go to work and he got killed.”

It’s personal for the Pawtucket Police Department. Carl was the brother of Detective John Seebeck.

John Seebeck spoke to reporters about the investigation shortly after the shooting.

“With the holidays coming up, it’s been very difficult,” he said.

A New Hope

There was renewed hope in the investigation in 2011, when a tipster said the gun used to kill Carl was dumped in a pond. Eyewitness News cameras captured dive teams scouring the mucky water.

They came away with nothing. 

Now, 11 years after her father’s death, Kristen is seeking new hope.

“Every August I have a hard time,” she said.

Police added the investigation to a deck of cold case playing cards. Each card highlights an unsolved homicide or missing person case in Rhode Island and can be purchased at the ACI.

Carl is the King of Hearts.

Butler said the deck of cards has shined a spotlight on her father’s case again.

She now has a message for her father’s killer.

“Why?” she asked. “Why did you kill a man, a husband, a father, a son, a grandfather, a brother and uncle? Why? He was an old man.”

Anyone with information is urged to call 1-877-RI-SOLVE.

“I miss him,” Butler said. “I miss him a lot. My family misses him.”

More Cold Case Cards » | Cold Case Cards: All In »

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