KAUFMAN COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – Nearly one week after the murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia, there is an effort to raise more reward money to find their killers.
So far, there have been no arrests or suspects named in last Saturday’s McLelland murders or the January murder of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.
Crime Stoppers is encouraging local business owners, like Cathy Spurlock, to contribute to the reward fund in hopes of generating leads for investigators. Spurlock’s quilt store is right across the street from the Kaufman County Courthouse where McLelland and Hasse worked. She also knitted quilts with McLelland’s wife Cynthia. But she is torn over whether to donate to the fund.
“I have a hard time putting into it because at the end of the day, it’s more than likely going to be a criminal that gets that money, and it just seems wrong that they would benefit from Mike and Cindy’s death,” says Spurlock.
Despite a reward that now totals 200-thousand dollars, Kaufman County Crime Stoppers President Tassie Gamble believes it will take more than double that to solve the murders.
“With the two murders and the three victims, Crime Stoppers is low on money,” says Gamble.
Gamble is struggling to get donations following the McLelland’s murders because so many residents and business owners came forward in the days after Hasse’s death.
An owner of a downtown restaurant says he wants to contribute but just doesn’t have the money.
“We’re brand new,” explains general manager Brent Deen. “So it’s kind of hard to do anything of that nature.”
While authorities continue to work around the clock tracking down leads, some believe a large reward is all investigators need to make an arrest.
“It does help generally. You see that people that do know seem to be of the criminal element or they seem to be scared. So by offering the money and the anonymity we do with the tip line, we take both of those fears away,”
Gamble also expressed concern that the recent arrests of residents who called in threats to the tip line may discourage legitimate tipsters from coming forward. She says anyone calling Crime Stoppers will remain anonymous.
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