BONNERS FERRY, Idaho — It has been three years since a Bonners Ferry Chiropractor was found executed in his office. He was on the phone with his wife of 21 years when he was murdered. At press time, no one is currently facing criminal charges for Dr. Brian Drake's homicide.
"He was an innocent man who was killed at the end of a business workday," Jennifer Drake said. "Someone shot him in the back through a window. By the time he realized what had happened, the next step was unconsciousness."
A place that was once dedicated to healing became a crime scene instantly that evening in March 2020. Resources from the city, county and state levels responded to help with the investigation. A few months after the crime, fellow local chiropractor Dr. Daniel Moore was arrested for second-degree murder. His alleged confession was ruled by a district court to be coerced, and the case against him quickly fell apart. The charge was dismissed. Prosecutors took the ruling to the Idaho Supreme Court, who then weighed in with their own ruling.
Three years later, many in the community is still on edge over what happened.
"It was shocking, yeah," said resident Jeff Ennis.
Ennis has called Bonners Ferry home for more than 25 years. He said what appealed to him was how safe it's always felt.
"It's a small town, community...closely knit," he said. "You've got a lot of family-oriented people, a lot of local churches."
Currently, about 2,500 people live in the community. The town is beautiful, nested along the Kootenai River. Prior to the Drake homicide, there hadn't been a murder in Bonners Ferry since the early 1960s.
Just like the community where murder victim Dr. Brian Drake would launch his successful chiropractic career, his wife says he was wholesome, a man of God, who loved music and family.
"He was amazing," she said. "We had it all. We really did."
Brian and Jennifer married in 1999 in Kalispell, Montana. She says it was love at first sight.
"It was," Jennifer said. "(We) met at church. I remember telling my mom...I was on the treadmill...this is the man I'm going to marry."
Through the years, the couple welcomed four children. Three boys and a girl.
"Very few people ever win the (life) lottery like I did," she said.
The couple moved to North Idaho and had planted roots. In 2014, Dr. Drake opened up his own chiropractic office along Main Street in Bonners Ferry.
"He (was a) great chiropractor...the opinion of his wife," Jennifer said.
That's also the opinion of a former patient.
"He was very compassionate," the patient said. "He helped me out a lot."
That patient didn't want her face on camera, and who could blame her after what happened on March 12, 2020—a day the Drake family will never forget.
"I was on the phone with him when it happened," Jennifer said. "It's a memory of sitting next to my daughter when it happened...we had to call 911."
Responding officers found her husband shot to death. Now, more than three years later, the investigation continues, and as there hasn't been an arrest in the case, any witness information would be welcomed. To try to reach those potential witnesses, billboards have been set up across North Idaho advertising a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the killer.
"No information is too small, that one tid bit could lead to something (huge for the case,)" she said
Dr. Brian Drake's face is front and center on the billboard, but Jennifer doesn't need a 672 square foot reminder of what consumes her mind every single day. Her husband.
"He was a very content man, a happy man," Jennifer said. "He was easy and full of wisdom. A man everyone wanted to be around."
And a man she says she will never stop trying to ensure gets justice.
"I believe we owe it to my husband, and not just my husband, the community at large, that something is done," she said.
For more information on the reward and how to submit tips, visit: https://www.justiceforbriandrake.com.
You can also contact the Bonners Ferry Police department at (208) 267-2412