• Businessman uses own money to increase Crime Stoppers reward for #FindLonzie

    By: Jenna Bourne


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A local Crime Stoppers Board Member is using his own money to increase the reward for tips in the Lonzie Barton case.

    “What I would like to do as a business owner in the Jacksonville community is offer an additional $1,000 reward for information leading to bringing the little boy home,” said Bland Cologne, the President of First Coast Security.

    That brings the total reward to $4,000 for an anonymous tip that leads to an arrest.

    The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has gotten more than 125 tips from all over the country since the search began for Lonzie on Friday. JSO Chief Tom Hackney said those tips are shaping the investigation.

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    “This is not a ‘willy nilly’ search,” Hackney said. “The efforts and locations that we’re using are based on information.”

    “Time is of the essence,” said Crime Stoppers Executive Director Wyllie Hodges. “Your hope and dream is that you get the right tip. That you get the one tip that will solve this case.”

    Jacksonville pastor Kenneth Adkins is offering a reward of his own, but that tip has to come from one person -- main suspect Ruben Ebron.

    “I want to tell him that we will give $5,000 to the mother of Lonzie if he would just tell where he is,” Adkins said.

    He’s hoping that offering to give back to someone Ebron’s accused of taking something precious away from could be the push he needs to finally give JSO the most important tip of all.

    If you know anything about what happened to Lonzie, you’re asked to call 1-866-845-TIPS (8477). You can also submit this form online or text "TIP326" plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

    Local tips to Crime Stoppers have led to more than 3,000 arrests, 6,000 cases cleared and more than $850,000 in rewards paid out to anonymous tipsters.

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