Southaven police offer money for help with cold cases

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Mississippi investigators hope $21,000 in reward money will help them solve three murder cases.

Lt. Mark Little of the Southaven Police Department said he hoped the cash incentive would help encourage the public to help solve three cases dating back to 2005.

On March 24, 2006, a normally quiet subdivision in Southaven was changed forever, when Bruce Lewis was shot and killed at his home after a fight.

According to Little, the suspect entered Lewis' home, and confronted his wife.

"Bruce and the suspect had a confrontation in the garage area, where Bruce came in from mowing the back yard," Little said.

A struggle ensued, and the suspect pulled a gun, killing Lewis.  Little said he hoped $5,000 offered by the city, in addition to a $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward, would help close the case.

"Somebody that might have known something back then that didn't have any incentive to come forward now has an incentive," Little said.

The Lewis case is the oldest of the three cold cases Southaven police are working on.  The other two happened in March and July of 2007, when Jair Valencia was shot and killed at the Bradford Park Apartments, and Kenneth Baxter was struck and killed by in a hit and run driver on Airways Blvd.

"It helps us in solving our cases," Little said.  "It helps bring closure to all the families involved."

In addition to the $6000 offered for information on any of the cases, the family of Kenneth Baxter has offered an additional $2000 dollars, and a local church has offered $1000 more, bringing the total reward amount in his case to $9000 dollars.

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