Crime Stoppers back in business in Panola County

Published 10:47 am Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Panola County law enforcement agencies have announced the formation of a local Crime Stoppers chapter, once in use by the city and county, and now reformed as another tool for investigators.

Sheriff Shane Phelps said he and Batesville Chief of Police Kerry Pittman, along with investigators and deputies in both agencies, worked together to get Panola County back in standing with the national crime fighting organization.

With years of national advertising and media exposure, Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that aids in the investigation of crimes, especially those that result in arrests and convictions.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The new number is 662-209-2011 and is being published widely in the county on social media platforms.

The Sheriff’s Office is also taking the opportunity of the Crime Stoppers announcement to remind the citizenry that two unsolved murders from 2019 are still open cases, and the public’s help is needed to make arrests.

Richard Talley was murdered May 23, 2019, in the Springport Rd. area of the county.  About six months later, on Oct. 25, Willie B. Williams, Jr., was killed by homicide, also in the same area.

“The Sheriff’s Office has not forgotten about these cases although some people may think we have,” Phelps said. “Somewhere out there people have information that could lead to arrests and bring some closure for these families and this county. It’s important to us every day to do anything we can to solve these cases and all the open cases we have, no matter how big or small.”

Pittman updated the Batesville City Board on his department’s part of the new Crime Stoppers office in the county. He reminded aldermen the program is funded by small assessments – usually $1 or $2 – on speeding tickets, parking fines, and other misdemeanor charges.