Event encourages residents to speak up against crime
AIKEN, SC - SC At an event on Saturday to mark what would have been the birthday of a man shot and killed in Hahn Village a year ago, friends and family of the man, as well as police, had one message: Speak up.
Moses Williams was 19 years old when he was shot and killed in Hahn Village on the night of Feb. 4, 2012. He died early the next morning. The case remains unsolved.
An event on Saturday that memorialized a man killed in Hahn Village last year also encouraged community members to help police solve crimes by coming forward with information they may have about a case. Participants ended the event by joining hands in a circle and praying.
Staff photo by Teddy Kulmala An event on Saturday that memorialized a man killed in Hahn Village last year also encouraged community members to help police solve crimes by coming forward with information they may have about a case. Participants ended the event by joining hands in a circle and praying.
“We go through things, and a lot of times we don't understand why, but God nows why and all things work according to his will,” said Carolyn Bates, whose son Larry Sanders Jr. was shot and killed July 10, 2010. She was one of several people to speak at Saturday's event, including Williams' mother Timica James.
“That's one thing that Timica and myself share – the sadness that goes along with having to bury a child,” Bates said. She said much of the reason crimes go unsolved is because people with information about the crimes are afraid to speak out to police.
“For whatever reason, people don't want to tell; they don't want to talk; they don't want to be called a snitch,” she said. “As long as people see things and just allow things to happen and don't do anything, it's just gonna keep going on. As far as closure, we probably wil never get that because people don't want to speak out.”
Tyesha Simmons, whose brother Travis Smith was shot and killed last year at an apartment complex in North Augusta, has worked tirelessly in keeping her brother's unsolved case alive in Aiken County.
“When stuff like this happens, it's your duty as a neighbor and a citizen to tell,” she said. “The bad thing about all this is, when stuff like this happens and people get away with it, they feel like they can do it again because nobody is gonna tell. Don't let people intimidate you – these are your neighborhoods and these are your streets.”
Lt. Karl Odenthal, a spokesman for the Aiken Department of Public Safety, told the crowd that police rely heavily on help from the public when they see or know something about a crime.
“We're doing what we can, but you are the eyes and ears in the community that are really going to help us solve these crimes,” he said. “With Moses, we're following all the leads we can but they've just run dry. Somebody out here knows something.”
Odenthal encouraged people to use the CrimeStoppers hotline to report tips. Callers remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward if their tip leads to an arrest and conviction.
The organization each year gives out more than $35,000 in reward money to anonymous callers and has an apprehension rate of 85 percent, Odenthal said. No tip is too small or insignificant.
“Somebody has some information they didn't think was a big deal, and it ends up being a little piece that breaks the case wide open,” Odenthal said.
Moses Williams' aunt Cathie Himton said parents need to better guide their children and encourage them.
“A lot of people tear their kids down. When kids are torn down at home, they feel like the streets are their home,” she said. “You're saying, 'You will never amount to anything.' If you keep telling your children they'll never amount to anything, guess what -- they'll never amount to anything.”
James said she became a “monster” after her son's murder, but working with people like Simmons and Bates saved her.
“My kids were supposed to bury me,” she said. “These ladies have turned me from a monster back to a mom that just wants to be heard and get people to talk and stop being afraid to talk.”
If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPSC". Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.
DO NOT attempt to approach, detain, follow or arrest any individual based on this web site's information. As information becomes dated it may become less accurate. Because some wanted persons are being sought for crimes of violence, or are known to be armed, all wanted persons should be considered dangerous. If you have information regarding the identity or whereabouts of any wanted person immediately contact Crime Stoppers or notify your local law enforcement agency.Site Design & Maintenance:
© Copyright Midlands Crimestoppers. All Rights Reserved.