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Reward money in Seminole Heights murders increases to $100K

The $100,000 raised comes from law enforcement partners, community groups and private citizens contributing.

The reward money for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the Seminole Heights murders has increased to $100,000.

The money raised comes from law enforcement partners, community groups and private citizens contributing.

"The support from the community and our law enforcement partners has been inspiring,'' said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan in a news release. "I can't thank them enough for stepping up.

"The reward money is truly impressive, and that's only one of the many ways that people are showing their support."

Timeline: Four murders in Tampa neighborhood, killer at large

The total stood at $91,000 Wednesday. The Tampa Police Department said restaurateur Richard Gonzmart pledged $9,000 on Thursday to bring the total to $100,000.

Here's how the rest of the reward money adds up:

  • $85,000 from law enforcement partners, including The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Crime Stoppers; the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI
  • $6,000 from the community

"Finding this killer is a community effort and Richard Gonzmart and the Columbia Restaurant Group have always been fantastic community partners who lead by example," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn in the news release. "We need to and will find who's committing these heinous, senseless murders and when we do, it will be because of people like Richard, the Seminole Heights community, Tampa Police Department and our partners in the law enforcement community who have poured their blood, sweat and tears into bringing this killer to justice."

On Wednesday, Tampa police released new surveillance video of the suspect in the Seminole Heights murders.

Dugan said officers are reviewing videos collected from homes and area businesses.

The southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood has had four murders since last month:

  1. On Tuesday morning, Tampa police officers found 60-year-old Ronald Felton dead near North Nebraska Avenue at East McBerry Street. It's believed Felton was crossing the street to meet with someone when a suspect came up from behind and shot him, Dugan said.
  2. On Oct. 19, Tampa police said 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa was shot to death after taking the wrong bus home.
  3. On Oct. 13, police found the body of 32-year-old Monica Caridad Hoffa near the intersection of East New Orleans Avenue and North 10th Street. Police believe Hoffa was shot and killed on Oct. 11.
  4. On Oct. 9, Benjamin Mitchell was shot and killed at a bus stop along N. 15th Street and East Frierson Avenue. Mitchell was 22 years old.

Anyone with information on the Seminole Heights murders is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1(800)873-8477.

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Photos: Seminole Heights shooting victims

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