KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thirty-seven homicides in Kansas City so far in 2019 and 21 of them are unsolved.
If you live in the Waldo area, you may have received a flyer Saturday. It’s part of the group’s mission to canvas Kansas City, alerting residents to more than 50 unsolved murders in the city over the past five years.
Step by step, street by street. For years, Momma on a Mission has walked Kansas City. Saturday was no different.
“We're going to Walk a Mile in my Shoes,” organizer Monique Willis said. “And bring awareness to this crime and homicides in this city.”
Monique Willis is the original Momma on a Mission. She’s organized every walk since her son, Alonzo Thomas IV was killed in 2014. His case, like so many others is unsolved.
Willis explained why the Walk A Mile encompasses more than just Alonzo.
“If I'm out there doing it for mine, why not do it for others? Why not be that voice for other families.”
So roughly 30 people, many representing different grieving families - formed a yellow parade through Waldo. They carried signs and handed out flyers with the faces of the victims in the unsolved murders printed on it. They walked east and west on 75th Street in the hopes that one piece of paper, that one extra step, might be what breaks open a case.
“This walk allows us to be unified,” participant Gregg Riess said. He is also the Board Chair for the Kansas City Crime Stoppers TIPS hotline. “We'll all put on the same shirt, we'll all walk around together, black and white, old and new, and we'll walk and really just show presence and answer some questions, and create some awareness.”
Sometimes, change comes quickly. But other times, it comes slowly: mile by mile, day by day.
“You'd do anything for your child,” Willis emphasized. “And for your child to have an unsolved homicide for five years? We're going to keep speaking about it.”
The flyer has the photos of 52 victims on it, all of their cases are unsolved. If all the reward money for those victims were tallied up, it would amount to $562,000.
If you know anything about an unsolved murder, you are urged to call the tips hotline. That number is 474-TIPS.