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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) -- The death in retirement on Thursday of former Alexandria Sheriff James Dunning reminded many in the Alexandria community of Del Ray that the 2003 murder of his wife Nancy remains unsolved.

"She was such a critical part of Del Ray and our community and Del Ray is what it is because Nancy believed in it, and though its been eight and a half years, she is such a part of this community still," said her friend Gayle Reuter in a Friday night 9News Now interview.

"Del Ray is a very small town where everybody knows your neighbor, everybody helps their neighbor, lots of community events, events for kids and families. She was the first to collect socks for the (local) shelter. She was the first to put up balloons for an event.

"We're standing on where our farmers market is and I can still picture her in her overalls, greeting everybody and so her spirit is here every day," Reuter said.

Nancy Dunning was found murdered in her home on December 5, 2003, police saying at the time they believed she was targeted by someone she knew.

Reuter helped raise more than $100,000 for a reward fund to prompt anyone with dispositive information come forward. The reward money is still there.

"Hopefully, reminding people that there is $100,000 waiting to be collected, somebody might come forward with that one piece of information that might solve the case," Reuter said Friday.

Alexandria police describe the case as an active one and do not describe it as a cold case.