New Albany police, mayor ask residents to remain vigilant following murder

(WMC-TV) - New Albany police raised the reward to find Amanda Price's murderer from $20,000 to $25,000 Wednesday.

"We're definitely devastated that we don't have any information about who did it and why," said Price's brother, Jay Cossey.

Price's family is not alone.

"It's been awful frustrating," said New Albany Police Chief David Grisham.

Grisham said his department is working day and night to find out what happened the night someone shot Price as she let her dogs out.

"The family wants closure, the community wants closure, the police department wants closure," said Grisham.  "But it seems every corner we turn, there seems to be a dead end."

Even Mayor Tim Kent, a former New Albany police investigator, is stumped.

"This guy didn't take anything, and that's the kind of unusual part about it," said Kent.

Grisham shared more details about what the victim's husband, Ron Price, saw just before the suspect shot him in the shoulder.

"The door was open back into the kitchen.  The door was open where he had opened it up to take the dog out, and it's a back glass door, and he sees the guy standing there," said Grisham.  "And so he dives at him through the door."

Grisham also shared more details of the suspect's possible description.

"This person was dressed in black, was wearing a face mask, like a full toboggan, had on gloves and was armed with a .380 caliber pistol," he said.

New Albany resident said they are gripped with the fear of knowing that a murderer has been on the loose for the last week and a half.

"Nothing like this has ever happened here before," said Kent.

Kent is not only the mayor of New Albany, his family is close friends with the slain wife and mother and her husband.

"Kept their daughter quite often," said Kent.  "Just watched her grow up to the person she is now, so they're kind of like family to us."

Cossey said things are not what they used to be in New Albany.

"People that have never locked their doors are locking their doors," he said.  "People that have never parked their cars in their garage, they're parking their cars in their garages.  They're making sure their children are watched.  They're not just letting them play in the yard like they normally do."

The mayor agreed.

"There's a new alertness in the community, I've noticed that," said Kent.  "Even when I go around corners, I look a little closer than I did before."

As police hunt for the murderer, they asked residents to be vigilant.

"Pay attention to things that maybe they normally wouldn't pay attention to," said Grisham, "and to be a little more vigilant about their day-to-day activities."

Cossey said the community has come together amid the tragedy.

"There are people who have turned back to God in ways that we didn't see coming," said Cossey.

He said as every moment passes, he cannot help but think how it would be different if his younger sister were still alive.

"To rob a little girl of her mother, I just can't understand the why," said Cossey.

Cossey said their lives were intertwined.

"We go to church together, we go to ball games together, we have family meals together," he said.  "We'd see each other two, three times per week."

Cossey said Christmas will not be the same for his family.

"We were close and love her and going to miss her.  It's going to make every holiday a little different."

The mayor, police chief, and the victim's family are making a plea to the community.

"We hope there's someone in the community that knows or saw something that day that would help us resolve this case," said Grisham.

"Somewhere, they're somebody that knows something," said Cossey.  "And as a family, we would just certainly appreciate, even if they think it's insignificant."

The chief said Ron Price is cut and bruised and underwent surgery to remove the bullet.

There is not much physical evidence.  The mayor said it might take time, but they will find the suspect.

If you know anything that can help lead to an arrest, call the New Albany Police at (662) 534-2222.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.