Reward Triples in Unsolved Westport Murder

July28,2007
A family member of Chris Bartholomew wears a button showing his face. Bartholomew was gunned down in Westport in May 2007, and his killer has not been caught.
KANSAS CITY, Mo.  –  Chris Bartholomew was gunned down almost two months ago, and on Saturday friends and family proved they’re not about to stop trying to find his killer.

Since Bartholomew, 21, was killed on 39th and Broadway his friends and family have raised money to see that his murder is solved. An army of volunteers braved the summer heat to post reward posters.

“I think he would have done it for me,” Chrissy French, Bartholomew’s friend, said.

Saturday marked the second time in two months Bartholomew’s loved ones have marched the streets. The new posters placed over their old ones show the reward money for information has now tripled.

“If they see $30,000, they might be thinking in their mind – you know what, I could get that money and I could just leave and nobody could know where I’m at,” Gina Robinson, family friend, said.

Bartholomew died on May 20, 2007 when he was hit with a stray bullet in Westport. Police said there were more than 200 people in the area at the time and that many witnesses heard the gunshots, but no one will say who pulled the trigger.

“I think people are scared,” Robinson said. “And I think what it’s gonna take is enough money for somebody to say something and leave town.”

Local activist Alonzo Washington said money will make a difference, and it has worked before.

“With the Shauntay Henderson case. I had a tipster who was calling me for a couple days and when that money gets solid, he told me everything except the exact location,” Washington said.

The next day, and $50,000 later, the alleged gang leader was arrested.

Bartholomew’s family said they hope for the same outcome, and that $30,000 is a small price to pay to get justice.

“I can’t let my son die for nothing, you know?” Misty Kirwan, Bartholomew’s mother, said.

If you have any information concerning Bartholomew’s homicide, investigators urge you to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.

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