Za’layia Jenkins’ killer remains at large: 28 billboards go up, officials hope key info. will come in

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE -- Nine-year-old Za'layia Jenkins' killer is still at large. The FBI has taken another step towards finding the person or persons responsible. The FBI has increased its reward in this case from $10,000 to $15,000, and that, combined with a donation from Attorney Michael Hupy has made the total $40,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. And now, billboards have gone up across the Milwaukee area.

Robert Botsch

Robert Botsch

"We have not gotten a lot of cooperation from the community," Robert Botsch, assistant special agent in charge with the FBI of Milwaukee said.

FBI officials hoped that increasing the reward in this case would encourage people to call with tips.

"Quite frankly, we`re not getting the type of information that we would like to get," Botsch said.

So now, the FBI is upping the ante. There are now 28 Clear Channel billboards up across the Milwaukee area -- reminding people that they're still looking for whoever killed Jenkins.

Za'layia Jenkins

Za'layia Jenkins

"We believe the information is out there. It's just a matter of enticing someone to cooperate," Botsch said.

Za'layia Jenkins

Za'layia Jenkins

Police say Jenkins was shot on May 5th, as two groups got into a shootout near 15th and Meinecke. The nine-year-old girl was in a home in the area, and was struck by gunfire.

Za'layia Jenkins was listed in critical condition after the shooting, and "legally pronounced dead/brain dead" at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 16th, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office.

Nine-year-old Za'layia Jenkins shot near 15th and Meinecke

Nine-year-old Za'layia Jenkins shot near 15th and Meinecke

"It's just heart-wrenching. Our police officers were out there that night and they experienced that trauma alongside that family and they too want to see this case solved quickly," James Harpole, assistant chief at the Milwaukee Police Department said.

While police and FBI officials say they're focusing all their resources on finding the people responsible in this case, many in the community are focusing on Jenkins' family.

Christine Toson-Hentgens

Christine Toson-Hentgens

"There are a bunch of community members behind them who are willing to stand behind them and support them in any way they can," Christine Toson-Hentgens said.

For some, like Toson-Hentgens, that means offering services or donations. She is the president of a family-run company that owns four local cemeteries.

"If we can just take a little of that burden off them so they can focus on that very brief life that was lived in a positive manner that's what we`re hoping to be able to do," Toson-Hentgens said.

Funeral arrangements have been set for Za'layia Jenkins.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 25th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at New Pitts Mortuary, located at 2031 W. Capitol Drive.

Za'layia's funeral will be held on Thursday, May 26th from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral at noon -- at Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ, located at 3505 N. Mother Daniels Way.

If you have any information that could help investigators in this case, you're asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

3 comments

  • Sheila Moyet

    “We have not gotten a lot of cooperation from the community,” Robert Botsch, assistant special agent in charge with the FBI of Milwaukee said”. This is why the ghetto is the ghetto and why the crime and violence keeps escalate in the black community. They protecct the thugs that are terrorizing their streets. They are responsible for creating the cesspool that they live in. These people are so used to living like animals that they will allow a young child’s murder to go unsolved. How can decent human beings turn their backs to this? People who protect killers are just as bad as the killers. I don’t give a damn if I am called racist, at least I can speak the truth.

Comments are closed.