New Crime Stoppers program designed to bring in tips for unsolved homicides

NOW: New Crime Stoppers program designed to bring in tips for unsolved homicides

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The South Bend Police Department and Michiana Crime Stoppers are launching a new marketing campaign on Saturday with the hope of generating new tips for some unsolved South Bend homicide cases.

The campaigns will focus on three specific cases: Alexis Morales, Johnnie Lee Johnson and Dionte Williams.

“We know that there are people that have information, and we want to be able to give them a platform to provide that information. And with this, we're going to be able to reach so many people,” said Lt. Kayla Miller, who oversees homicide investigations for South Bend Police and serves as coordinator for Michiana Crime Stoppers.

The marketing campaigns will be delivered in the form of mobile ads and will be visible on a cell phone that travels through the immediate area where each homicide occurred.

If you live within a mile of the crime scene, or drive through the area in your vehicle, you will likely see this new Crime Stoppers ad.

Lieutenant Kayla Miller told ABC57 the program was utilized in Flint, Michigan, and it was successful.

Each campaign will focus on one homicide per month, as it approaches each case's one-year anniversary.

Starting in April, the campaign will focus on the murder of Alexis Morales.

On April 19th of 2022, the 27-year-old was found dead in a vehicle in the 400 block of S. Kaley St.

Her five-month-old son was also found in the vehicle but was not seriously harmed.

In May, the campaign will shift to 53-year-old Johnnie Lee Johnson.

On May 12th of 2022, Johnson was shot and killed in the 1200 block of Huey St.

South Bend Police say several people witnessed the shooting but those witnesses still need to come forward.

The June campaign will be focused on Dionte Williams, who was shot and killed on June 9th of 2022 in the Laurel Woods Apartments.

If you see one of the ads and click on it, you will be directed to either provide a tip or visit the Crime Stoppers website.

Michiana Crime Stoppers indicates the program, if successful, could be used in future cases.

“We're going to take this as kind of a pilot for these three cases, we're going to see how it works, we're going to see what the results are," said Lt. Miller. "And then the board will then decide whether or not this is something we want to continue with, whether it could be on a regular basis, or it could be case by case moving forward.”

Michiana Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $2,500 for anonymous tips that lead to an arrest in a homicide case.

You can call to submit a tip anytime at 574-288-STOP, 1-800-342-STOP, or online.

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