St. Louis is offering rewards totaling $100,000 in four unsolved child murders, including that of Jurnee Thompson, an 8-year-old girl who was shot dead outside a restaurant Friday. A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in that case and in three other unsolved killings since April, NBC reports. Kayden Johnson, 2, was shot dead in his home along with his 18-year-old mother. Eddie Hill, 10, was shot dead on his front porch in a drive-by shooting and 3-year-old Kennedi Powell was gunned down outside her home as her father handed out slices of pizza to children. Authorities say the rewards are being offered until Sept. 1. Mayor Lyda Krewson says the deadline "reflects the urgency" of the situation.
At least a dozen children 16 or younger have died in gun violence in St. Louis this summer and an arrest has been made in just one case, that of 7-year-old Xaviour Usanga, who was shot dead earlier this month. Police say that in some cases, people are not coming forward with information because of fear of retaliation from gangs, the AP reports. "Around St. Louis, we don’t snitch on people," one victim's brother tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We keep it in the streets." When the rewards were announced, St. Louis Director of Public Safety Jimmie Edwards said he knew there were "many other homicides in our city without an arrest yet" and he wished the city had enough money to offer rewards in every case. (Read more St. Louis stories.)