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Tanya Emery said she still lays awake some nights.

It has been more than a month since Emery’s son, 24-year-old Travis Gauch, was shot to death Aug. 13 outside of a home in the 700 block of West Chicago Street in Springfield, and no one has been charged.

“I wonder what his last moments were like,” Emery said. “I’ve got so many unanswered questions. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the answers to them.”

Springfield is on pace to set a record for homicides in 2020, but Emery wants to make sure her son’s case is not forgotten.

Travis Gauch’s death: Police ID victim in deadly shooting in north Springfield

Emery knows her son wasn’t perfect, but he deserved a chance to chase his dreams. That’s why she’s begging anyone with information about Gauch’s death to contact the Springfield Police Department.

“Let Travis have some justice,” Emery said. “He didn’t deserve this.”

Who was Travis Gauch?

Emery said her son grew up in Mountain Grove and struggled with drug abuse. That led to trouble with the law and several felony convictions, but Gauch’s family remained hopeful that he might someday land on the straight and narrow.

Gauch loved fishing and he hoped to someday work at a fish hatchery, according to his mother.

“He loved to be outdoors,” Emery said. “That’s what he loved the most. He loved to be on the water. He was like that as a child, since he could learn how to walk. We had trouble keeping him in the house. He was always an outside child.”

When Gauch was clean, his mother said he had a vibrant personality and infectious laugh. He was also a loyal and protective friend.

“He had so much energy for life,” she said.

Gauch’s death still under investigation

Police say Gauch was found shot to death just after 2 a.m. in the backyard of that home on Chicago Street back in August. 

Lt. Curt Ringgold with the Springfield Police Department told TV station KY3 that there was some evidence Gauch had been inside a shed outside of the home where the residents let random people stay. Ringgold said Gauch likely knew his killer.

On Tuesday, Springfield Police Department spokeswoman Jasmine Bailey said investigators believe Gauch’s killing was a criminal act and the case is considered an open investigation.

Family seeks answers while remembering Travis 

Gauch’s stepmother, Patti Gauch, said she will remember Travis Gauch for his goofy personality and the earnest way he connected with children. 

“He was a total country boy at heart,” Patti Gauch said. “And we’re just going to miss him, the silly stuff he did.”

Patti Gauch said the family understands that criminal charges won’t bring Travis Gauch back, but they hope more information about what happened will bring some closure. 

“We just want answers,” Patti Gauch said.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Springfield Police Department at 417-864-1810 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 417-869- TIPS (8477).

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