UPDATE: Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay said in a written statement late Thursday that they will honor a $5,000 reward for the McDonalds tipster even though she is not eligible because she did not call the tip line.
In a statement, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay wrote they will make a rare exception to pay Delonda Walker, but from another account. Read more here: http://wfts.tv/2zSLTaD
TAMPA, Fla. -- A Florida man who lived in Seminole Heights for 11 years has created a fundraiser for the McDonald's employee who alerted police to the suspected killer after Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay announced she is not eligible for the $5,000 reward that led to the Seminole Heights killer.
In a statement Wednesday, Delonda Walker wrote the following:
“As you can imagine, I am overwhelmed and surprised by yesterday’s events and I understand why many are interested in speaking with me. At this time, I am speaking exclusively with police and am appreciative that they were nearby and quickly acted upon the information I discovered and shared with the police officer. I am also appreciative of the outpouring of support from the community. My thoughts are focused on the victims and their families and out of respect for them and the active investigation, please direct inquiries to the Tampa Police Department.”
General Manager, Ybor McDonald’s
Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay announced Wednesday Walker is not eligible for the $5,000 reward money because she did not actually call the 1-800 tip line.
After hearing the news, Scott Kjeer of Riverview, posted a GoFundMe page to raise back the $5,000.
On the page he wrote:
I lived in Seminole Heights for 11 years and felt every bit a part of this horrific two months, and feel the heroine in this story is being "gypd" by stupid red-tape that has never been brought to light before this capture.
Kjeer titled the GoFundMe page "Delonda, Seminole Heights' Heroine."
The president of Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay told ABC Action News by phone on Thursday that the rules for the reward money are clearly stated and have been written this way for the past 30 years.
We are told this is the same for Crime Stoppers at a national level, and all the Crime Stoppers across the country operate the same way.
Kjeer tells us he donated the first $100 to Walker on the site.
Although Walker is not eligible for the $5,000 she could still receive money from the other agencies who dedicated money to the reward fund.
Local Tampa businessman, Richard Gonzmart, personally delivered a $9,000 check to the woman, making good on his promise to contribute to the reward.
Here is a list of the money she may still be eligible for:
- David A. Straz Jr. Foundation is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the unknown suspect(s) involved in these homicide cases.
- Rise Tampa is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information leading to the arrest of the unknown suspect(s) involved in these homicide cases.
- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the unknown suspect(s) involved in these homicide cases.
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the unknown suspect(s) involved in these homicide cases.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of the unknown suspect(s) involved in these homicide cases.
To see more on the fundraiser, click here.