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Reward increased to $9,500 for information in 2018 Winter Haven homicide

Someone shot and killed 21-year-old Darnell Powell as he slept in his bed.

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Darnell Powell was very much loved and, to this day, is very missed, his mother reminded reporters.

Darnya Parker-Barber joined the Winter Haven Police Department on Monday morning to announce a reward increase to $9,500 to anyone who has information that leads to the arrest of his killer.

The 21-year-old was asleep in his bed early Sept. 29, 2018, at his home in the area of 500 Avenue V NE. when he was shot. The gunfire apparently came through a window.

During a news conference back then, police said the shooting didn't appear to be a random act.

Now three years later, Police Chief David Brannan said there are no persons of interest and no substantial leads that could lead to an arrest. Powell's mother said she's grateful for the increase of the reward and hopes it leads to answers.

"I have very high expectations of reaching someone," Parker-Barber said. "Even if it's someone that knows something or just thinks something is irrelevant.

"You know, it's also to just make sure that I remind everyone of how special Darnell was to us. To let everyone know that we're gonna fight."

Brannan said more signs will be posted throughout the neighborhood in hopes they reach someone, provide an incentive for speaking up and, hopefully, lead to an arrest.

"It's not snitching - it's bringing justice to a grieving family," Brannan said in an earlier statement.

Anyone with information wanting to remain anonymous can contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 or visit their website. Callers could be eligible for the $9,500 reward.