New reward program created to help solve unsolved homicides

Updated: Feb. 15, 2017 at 1:29 PM CST
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(KCBD) - The Office of the Governor, The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and Texas Crime Stoppers announced a new reward program related to the Texas Ranger Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program. The new reward program, funded by the Governor's Criminal Justice Division and administered by DPS, is designed to help generate investigative leads in unresolved or cold case homicides.

Texas Crime Stoppers will now pay a reward up to $3,000 to any person who provides information that leads to the arrest of the person/persons responsible for a cold case listed on the DPS Unsolved Homicides website.

"It is a tremendous affront to society when a heinous crime like murder goes unsolved, and the state of Texas has an obligation to the victims and our communities to help ensure justice is ultimately served," said Governor Abbott "This new reward program was created to help identify the perpetrators of these crimes and provide overdue closure in these cases."

In 2015, DPS launched a public awareness campaign featuring one unsolved case every month in an effort to generate new leads and bring attention to unresolved or "cold cases" across the state. Now as part of the new reward program, Crime Stoppers will offer an increased reward to up to $6,000 for each of these featured cases, if the tip comes in before the next case is featured in the following month.

"DPS is committed to the ongoing search for crucial evidence needed to close these cases – no matter when the crime occurred," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "These victims and their loved ones deserve justice, and we urge anyone with information related to an unsolved case to come forward and take a stand against crime."

To be eligible for the cash rewards, tipsters must provide information to authorities by calling the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-252-TIPS (8477). All tips can be offered anonymously, and tipsters will be provided a tip number instead of using a name.

Since there is no statute of limitations on the offense of murder, the state has the moral and statutory obligation to pursue these cases to a successful resolution or until no other lead is viable.

For decades paying rewards to anonymous tipsters has been a proven method in the apprehension of criminals in Texas, and this program builds on the success of the state's existing tipster reward programs – the Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitives and Texas 10 Most Wanted Sex Offenders programs.