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Friday, June 29, 2007

VonZall Temple Jr.'s family isn't giving up

Temple We report about reward money and how it can help solve cases, but sometimes it's easy to forget what goes into raising that money. Case in point: VonZall Temple Jr.

VonZall was killed in late May near 25th and Kensington, just a few days after he graduated from high school. Officers found his body lying in his car, which he had gone to show a prospective buyer. He was 17 years old, and everybody I've interviewed has said he was a good kid. So far, nobody has been charged with his murder.

Earlier this week, the reward for his case climbed to $8,000. His family has raised the bulk of the money themselves. Last weekend, they held a bike ride and picnic. On Saturday, they're going to have a garage sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 6600 Broadmoor in Kansas City. They're even talking about selling garbage bags as a way to raise money for a reward.

I talked to VonZall's aunt, Teemon Henderson, on Thursday afternoon. She said the bulk of what's been done so far has been done by the family. The police are investigating, of course, but as far as publicizing the teen's murder and asking for tips, it's largely fallen to the people who loved VonZall. Henderson has seen other cases get more attention, and while she doesn't begrudge those families, prays they get justice, it's also been frustrating for her. "Nobody's trying to help us."

If anyone has information about this case, they're asked to call the Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS (474-8477). All calls are confidential.

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