Mayor Richard J. Berry Pledges $35,000 in city funds for information leading to an arrest
ALBUQUERQUE – Mayor Richard J. Berry ordered the Albuquerque Police Department Thursday to designate $35,000 toward a reward for information leading to the arrest in the West Mesa murder case.
The reward now stands at $100,000. The FBI previously committed $50,000 and the families of the 12 victims have raised $15,000.
Berry made the decision to commit city funds toward a reward after he met with the families of the West Mesa victims on Wednesday. The mayor requested a meeting with the families the first day he took office. The one-hour meeting was private.
"I want this solved," Berry said. "The Albuquerque Police Department is doing everything it can to solve this case. This is something I can do as mayor to help. I am doing this because I want resolution of this case and closure for the families."
On Tuesday Berry met with the lead investigators assigned to the West Mesa murder case. In the meeting the detectives stressed the reward needed to be higher and felt it could make a difference in finding a suspect.
The next day, several family members of the victims told the mayor they agreed and felt the only way it could be solved is with a higher reward prompting the mayor to order Chief Ray Schultz.
Chief Ray Schultz and Public Safety Director Darren White secured the funds from an investigation fund that is used to pay informants.
"It has been proven that a reward of this magnitude can make a difference," said White, who also met with the families. "The mayor asked the families and the detectives what he could do and the overwhelming response was a bigger reward."