Alaysia Bennett Family Grateful of FBI Reward, Still Heartbroken
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) —
The FBI just announced a new reward amount for any information leading to an arrest in the December homicide case of 19-year-old Alaysia Bennett. The victim’s family said they're grateful but still heartbroken.
"You know it was right before Christmas."
Just four days before, 19-year-old Alaysia Bennett was gunned down while she sat in a car with friends.
"You know,” Sheria Schluter, Alaysia’s cousin, said. “Just thinking back, it destroyed us."
Schluter said Alaysia was full of life and laughter.
"She was so sweet,” she said. “Very soft spoken. We were a close-knit family."
Tuesday, the FBI addressed the December 21, 2016 homicide again at a news conference.
"Subject used a handgun, and should be considered armed and dangerous,” Supervisory Special Agent Joseph Murphy said.
Murphy said the investigation is progressing but they still need a few more crucial pieces of information of the night to catch the gunman.
"Relative to this investigation, the FBI is offering a reward of up to $5000," he said.
That’s $5,000 reward on top of Crime Stoppers $5,000.
Springfield’s Police Chief Kenny Winslow said he hopes this will help not only the Bennett family but the community as well.
"The careless cowardly act by those responsible I think it just struck a nerve with our community," Chief Winslow said. "And again this is what our detective have to live with day in and day out."
It's unclear if the suspect is still in the city, but officials said they strongly believe people who know him, are still in the area.
Alaysia's cousin said she appreciates all agencies on the case.
"I just hope that he is caught," she said. "Whoever this person is, so that justice is served, and so no one else is hurt by this person."