HOUSTON — Crime Stoppers is launching a new program aimed at getting murder suspects off the streets of Houston.
The program, called "Catch A Killer," will highlight more than 600 fugitives who are wanted for murder and can't be found.
How it works: Each week Crime Stoppers will release a photo and charging information on a fugitive wanted for murder. Crime Stoppers will then ask for the public's help in locating the suspect with hopes the suspect will be found and brought into custody. Prosecutors will then seek sufficient bail and/or no bail if warranted.
A reward of up to $5,000 will be offered to tipsters who assist police in identifying and/or locating these suspects. Tipsters can call 713-222-TIPS (8477) or provide tips online.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said her office brought this idea to Crime Stoppers because she said the homicide rate within the county is unacceptable. Ogg said there are 630 people who have been charged with murder in the Houston area and remain free to roam the streets.
Ogg said the success of the Crime Stoppers tipline was a reason why her office came up with this program and is investing half a million dollars to the organization for operations and rewards necessary to catch a killer.
"Somebody, somewhere knows where those fugitives are," Ogg said. "And for those charged with murder...there are two choices for you if you are a charged fugitive murderer. You can remain on the run until you are caught or you can turn yourself in. But either way, you will be caught."
Crime Stoppers has already highlighted murder suspects who are on the run:
- Michael Hall -- Offense date May 1, 2021, wanted for the murder of Estela Sanchez
- Jose Pablo Urbina -- Offense date July 17, 2019; wanted for the murder of Bryant Saul Delatorre
- Tavish Rashad McKinley -- Offense date Feb. 2016, wanted for the murder of Rayland Dunta Maryland
- Bryan Vega Velez -- Offense date June 11, 2016; wanted for the murder of Alma D. Rivera-Melendez
- Aaron Sandoval -- Offense date June 7, 2012; wanted for the murder of William Garcia
If you have any information on the whereabouts of these individuals, call Crime Stoppers.
According to a report issued last week by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, in 2015, 6,344 defendants out on bond were accused in new crimes. In 2020, the number almost triples to 18,820.
Reporter Adam Bennett is following this story for KHOU 11 News today.