Crimestoppers wants to remind people they can remain anonymous and not have to testify in court after giving a tip
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
With a scarce number of people coming forward to provide law enforcement with vital information in recent shootings, Crimestoppers want to make sure the public knows they can remain anonymous.
The recent shooting at The Vault nightclub that left a Columbia man dead still has few witnesses volunteering any information to investigators.
The Boone County Sheriff's Office posted a statement Friday on Facebook saying that more than 100 people were inside the nightclub at the time Junous Kelly was shot and killed. The post was a call for witnesses to come forward.
John Fields, with Crimestoppers in Columbia, said he thinks the hesitation from the public is because people don't want to testify in court, but he said they won't have to.
"When you make a tip to Crimestoppers you can remain completely anonymous and it's not leading to a conviction, it's leading to the arrest of a subject," said Fields.
Crimestoppers does not ask people for their name, phone number, address, or any other personal information. Fields said the phones they use have no caller ID so once the tip is given, the operator will give that person a number to call back and check to see if their tip led to any arrests.
If someone does call back and their tip did help lead to an arrest, Crimestoppers will provide them with an additional phone number to call to get paid for the information that they gave with no questions asked. Fields said the payment will be in cash so that it can remain anonymous.
The police and sheriff's departments piece together the tips provided to Crimestoppers to help solve different crimes.
Fields said he has spoke to the mother of Kelly and she is pleading for people to bring forth information to get the case solved. He said many other cases also have family members looking for answers.
Anyone who has information is encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 875-TIPS.