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Beloved bookstore owner’s brother asks for help finding killer

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A heartbroken man is searching for justice and hoping to find his brother's killer.

On Sept. 14, firefighters were called to 30 Penn Books to battle a fire when they discovered the body of 66-year-old Kelly Hays under a pile of books.

Weeks later, his loved ones are now desperate for police to catch his murderer.

"He was one of the kindest people I ever knew. He had no material aspirations," said Dan Hays, Kelly’s older brother.

Kelly was an attorney by trade, serving as an assistant district attorney in Harper County and a judge in Garfield County in the 1980s. He even had his own practice before he decided to pursue another dream.

"He gave all of that up to set up the 30 Penn Books bookstore because he loved books so much," Dan said.

Kelly owned the bookstore for the past 17 years and was loved by his customers.

However, it all came to an end when Kelly's body was found inside the store, which had been intentionally set on fire.

Man's body found burned inside bookstore

The medical examiner's initial report shows he died from sharp force injuries before the fire.

"All of us are in danger when someone will perpetrate a crime like this with such viciousness and without any provocation,” Dan said.

Family members said they are shocked Kelly would be the victim of such a horrific crime.

"I can't imagine anyone having any motive to want to kill him, and that's what's so befuddling," Dan said.

Now, Oklahoma City police and Kelly's family are asking for the public's help finding the person who killed the beloved store owner.

"A great soul has been taken from us, and we're very shocked and upset and we want everyone to do everything possible to help apprehend this person,” Dan said.

If you have any information that could help with the investigation, call the Homicide Tipline at 405-297-1200.

Police said even the smallest details can be extremely helpful.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to assist in the investigation.

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