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Crime Specialist Karen Scullin reportingInvestigators in the Elizabeth Smart case are hoping money may help produce a new lead. The 14-year-old Smart has been missing since June 5.
Mayor Rocky Anderson, along with Salt Lake City police and the FBI, today announced a $20,000 increase in the reward for new information about the crime.
Investigators re-emphasized today that they are not giving up on this case. They hope the new reward money and an interview with Elizabeth Smart's brothers and sisters might generate the lead they need.
Money motivates, and investigators on the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case hope an extra $20,000 will inspire someone to call in with a new lead.
"You can come forward anonymously. You can call anonymously. We can make arrangements to pay you annonymously," says FBI special agent in charge, Chip Burris.
The reward has been upped from $25,000 to $45,000. The tipster can claim the cash if he or she can identify the perpetrator or an accessory involved in the abduction.
But now, the reward goes out even if the person identified is deceased. That reward money is also offered for information that leads police to Elizabeth's whereabouts, even if she is deceased.
"It's no secret that a primary suspect in this case was Richard Ricci, who is no longer alive. If there is someone out there that can give us informaiton that leads us to, absolutely leads us to establish that Ricci was the suspect, they may be eligible for the reward," says Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse.
Coinciding with the new reward offer, a network magazine show will air an interview with the Smart children and reportedly reveal some information not released by media in the past. Investigators and the Smart family hope the exposure will bring in that crucial phone call.
"We look forward to having this come to an end. We hope and pray that person who knows something will help us," says Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father.
If you have a tip, you're asked to call 799-INFO, or you can submit tips on the police website listed above.
In addition to the $45,000, the $250,000 reward is also still available for Elizabeth's safe return.