Crime

Rewards aim to solve Mississippi Coast killings and property crimes

Families of two slain Mississippi Coast women are each offering a $20,000 reward to find their loved ones’ killers.

It’s a lot of money, but the families of Kimberly Watts of Long Beach and Angela Lizana of Harrison County believe it’s worth it find out who killed them and why.

Rewards in both cases are the highest currently offered in unsolved crimes in the Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties. The families posting the rewards hope the offer of money will motivate someone to give the tip that solves their cases.

The unsolved killings of Watts in 2014 and Lizana in 2008 are among cold cases being investigated by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department. The department received a Justice Department grant in 2016 to fund overtime for cold case investigations.

But not all rewards involve killings. Some involve property crimes, including firearms. Rewards currently available total more than $70,000.

Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers also offers rewards paid in cash anonymously. Rewards are up to $1,000 for a tip leading to an arrest in crimes of violence and crimes resulting in death, Crime Stoppers Director Lori Massey said. Crime Stoppers also shares tips on other crimes to area departments.

“Law enforcement officers never know the names of the people who give tips to Crime Stoppers,” Massey said.

That was the case in the July 1 hit-and-run that critically injured a 47-year-old woman on Reynoir Street in Biloxi. Someone recently collected a $5,000 reward for giving the tip that identified the driver, Police Maj. Christopher De Back said. Police were not told who gave the tip, which led to an arrest.

Not all people eligible for a reward accept the money.

“Some do it just to be a good citizen, to do the right thing,” Massey said.

Here’s a list of current rewards, investigating agencies and who to call:

▪ $20,000: Angela “Angie” Lizana, 43 and wheelchair-bound, was found shot to death in Harrison County at her home on Moran Road on Sept. 13, 2008. Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, 228-896-0678.

▪ $20,000: Kimberly “Kim” Watts, 48, was found dead in her Long Beach home on Woodcrest Drive on Nov. 10, 2014. Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, 228-896-0678.

▪ $10,000: Shelby Luciano, 23, victim of a hit and run, was found dead in a ditch in Waveland on the east side of Spruce Street on June 18, 2015. Waveland Police Department, 228-467-3669.

▪ $10,000: Justin Tubbs, was found dead near his abandoned truck in woods off Bethel and Clarke roads in Harrison County on Sept. 30, 2007. Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, 228-896-0678.

▪ $10,000: Burglars stole guns from Pawn Mart, 2941 Market Street, Pascagoula, on June 17. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Gulfport office, 228-575-6501, or 1-800-ATF-GUNS (4867).

▪ $1,000: The Vintage Store on Pass Road in Gulfport was burglarized and two rare brass chandeliers were stolen Sept. 13. Owner Mike Haydel, 228-264-1999 or the Gulfport Police Department, 228-896-5959.

Tipsters also can call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898 or give a tip online at mscoastcrimestoppers.com.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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