New Crimestoppers reward aims to solicit more tips

There's hope that a higher reward will get more accused killers of the streets of Memphis.

A boarded up home on Deadrick Avenue used to be Cora Lee Gatewood's pride and joy, until someone took her life in April.  Ella Smith Arnold, Gatewood's niece, hoped a $1,000 reward from Crimestoppers entice someone to offer information about her aunt's death.  So far, it hasn't.

"How could you take advantage of an 83 year old lady that would help anyone she could?" Arnold asked.

Gatewood's death prompted Memphis City Councilman Dedrick Brittenum to push an agenda that resulted in a $5,000 reward in the case of certain brutal crimes, in addition to the $1,000 reward that is already normally offered.

"It's devastating to have a crime committed in your neighborhood," Brittenum said.  "It's demoralizing for all the residents and citizens in this area."

The Gatewood family is hopeful the new fund will take her killer off the streets, but expressed sadness that might take more cash to convince someone to give information that could catch a killer.

"If it wasn't my family, if it was somebody else, I would tell for free," Brittenum said, "because things like this shouldn't happen."

Crimestoppers program officials will decide which crimes qualify for the extra reward.  If you have information about Cora Gatewood's murder, call Crimestoppers at 528-CASH.