$5,000 reward for information leading to college ballplayer’s killer

Robin Webb, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·2 min read

Who killed 21-year-old Derek R. Becker? That’s a question West Palm Beach police are hoping a $5,000 reward will answer.

The Keiser University baseball player was found shot to death at his home at the Azalea Apartments, north of the campus, in the 4200 block of Community Drive at about 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 20, police said.

Investigators have not revealed much about the circumstances of the case, but robbery may be a motive.

Items valued at $175 were stolen from the apartment, according to the Albany Times-Union, and a second victim was present at the time of the shooting. That individual, whose identity has not been made public, was unharmed, according to police.

Becker was from Cohoes, N.Y., about 10 miles north of Albany.

After graduating Cohoes High School in 2017, Becker received a baseball scholarship at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y.,, where he played middle infield for several years before transferring to Keiser University in West Palm Beach to play his remaining eligibility years, according to his obituary.

Becker was a standout baseball player and an exceptional friend and associate “to those whose lives he touched,” Brooke Fordyce, coach of the Keiser Seahawks, told WPEC-Ch. 25 in December.

His high school also expressed its grief in a statement on social media the day his body was found.

“Cohoes Athletics is devastated to hear the news of the passing of Derek Becker. Derek was an extremely hard worker, the ultimate competitor, a fantastic athlete, and a great young man.”

Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact Detective D. MacCarthy at 561-822-1666 or DMacCarthy@wpb.org or Detective A. Sam at 561-822-1675 or ASam@wpb.org.

Anonymous tips can be given to Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-8477 or crimestopperspbc.com.

Wayne K. Roustan can be reached at wkroustan@sunsentinel.com or 561-379-6119 or on Twitter @WayneRoustan