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$25,000-$30,000 per case: Major rewards posted in four unsolved child killings

ST. LOUIS – Another child has been shot and killed in the city of St. Louis, and now officials are coming to the table with large rewards in an effort to solve the latest case and others.  

The latest victim is Jurnee Thompson, an 8-year-old girl. She was gunned down Friday night as she stood with her family awaiting a food order at a restaurant in the 1100 block of Union Boulevard. 

The shooting followed a St. Louis Public High Schools PHL (Public High League) jamboree and scrimmage game at Soldan High School.  Police say a fight there spilled out into the adjoining neighborhood.

On Saturday, Mayor Lyda Krewson, along with police, announced a $25,000 reward in Jurnee’s case as well as those of Eddie Hill, 10; Kennedi Powell, 3; and Kayden Johnson, 2. All have been killed this summer.  

The extra rewards in the children’s cases are being funded by area philanthropists Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield. In addition, the usual reward of up to $5,000 in each case would also be paid by CrimeStoppers. 

The special rewards are available through Sept. 1, a stipulation made by the city.

“Conventional policing tactics are not enough,” the mayor said in a press conference Saturday afternoon. “We need information from the public to help us bring these shooters to justice.”

“We are all at risk when the suspects remain on the street,” she warned. 

Public Safety Director Jimmie Edwards issued his own warning to anyone with information who might be withholding it. 

“Your failure to turn in people who committed these types of offenses may also cause you to be charged with a crime,” Edwards said. 

Edwards emphasized that CrimeStoppers was a viable option for those hesitant to talk to police.  The number allows callers to remain anonymous.

Edwards said police investigators knew that people were at or near the scene of several of the homicides in which children were killed.

“Help us find the shooters,” he pleaded. “If you or someone else you know may be hiding a shooter, please help turn them in.” 

The mayor’s underlying message for gunmen is that justice is coming.

“When you engage in this type of violent behavior, there will be a significant incentive for people to give us information into your arrest.” 

She also asked that family members of the young people who were killed refrain from retaliation.  

City Police Chief John Hayden solemnly read the names and circumstances of  the unsolved child killings since April.

Anyone with information about child killings is encouraged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477. All tips to CrimeStoppers are anonymous. 

Bill Beene

bill.beene@thenorthsider.com Bill Beene was born and raised in north St. Louis. He has been a journalist for 12 years. He enjoys cooking and roller skating. He lives in the historic Ville neighborhood.

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