KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department says the key to reducing crime in the city is by witnesses coming forward with information that can help solve crimes.
There are lots of unsolved cases within KCPD where police know who did it but don't have the proof they need to take the cases to the prosecutor for charging. That means more violent criminals are allowed to walk among us, putting others in danger. In most, if not all cases, someone knows something but is not willing to say.
Who killed 37-year-old Carrie Mae Blewett is a question that haunts her family.
"We just want closure so my sister can rest,” said Blewett’s sister April Blewett. “I'm sorry. It hurts."
The mother of four went missing in July of 2017. Several weeks later, her body was found in a wooded area near 51st and College Avenue.
"It is emotional because of how she was done,” April Bluett said. “When she was buried we couldn’t have no open casket for her, we had to cremate her. We didn’t even get to see our sister for the last time and say goodbye or nothing."
KCPD says over 3,000 people have been reported missing in the last 2 years. The vast majority of folks are found within 3-4 days with the help of social media and police investigation. Some, like Blewett, end up as homicide investigations.
Jamie Tolliver has been missing since April 2017 when she was dropped off near 39th Terrace and Oakley Avenue, and has not been found.
Police say someone knows what happened to all of these victims.
"And we preach and talk about relationships with neighbors and each other and that we are all one and to do that we need the public's help," Sgt. Benjamin Caldwell said, of the street code that people don’t snitch. “We are talking about human lives here and people deserve justice and people deserve closure."
It is a message also stressed by Detective Heather Leslie, who is working on the Blewett case.
"If you are a witness to something, you are not a snitch. You are being a witness. You are trying to clean up the streets of the city where you live in," Leslie said.
Police said the bottom line is if the community doesn't step up, violent crime in Kansas City will continue to escalate and families like the Blewetts will continue to live with the pain of not knowing who killed their loved one.
The TIPS Hotline has increased its reward offer to $10,000. They hope it will encourage people to do their part to report what they know and make Kansas City safer.