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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Seven Pinellas cold cases to be profiled in new billboard campaign

3

March

Crime Stoppers and law enforcement officials in Pinellas County announced a new billboard campaign on Thursday that they hope will bolster tips in seven cold cases.

Clear Channel Outdoor has created and donated the billboards, which display a photo of the victim, information on the case, and the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line. The billboards will be placed as close as possible to the location of the crime scenes, Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a news conference Thursday.

“The hope is that the presence of these large reminders of these tragic incidents will jog the memories of people who may have information,” he said.

Among the cases is the disappearance of Zachary Bernhardt, who was 8 years old when his mother reported him missing on Sept. 11, 2000. Chief Dan Slaughter, who at the time was one of the lead detectives on the case, said investigators have conducted hundreds of interviews.

The campaign will also focus on the unsolved murder of Malayshia Gamble, a 15-year-old girl found dead on January 9, 2009 in St. Petersburg.

The Pinellas Sheriff's Office is profiling two of its cases: Lynette Campbell, 35, whose body was recovered from the Anclote River in June 1996, and Gary Noordhoek, 38, found shot to death in a warehouse in June 1996.

The other cases are Tracy Lee Pulido, Paula Witthaus and James Rapp, and Melanie Landra Warren.

Officials ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County at (800) 873-8477. If an anonymous tip leads to an arrest, the caller can receive a reward of up to $3,000.

“We're very hopeful... that these billboards will inspire someone to step forward and be the voice of these victims,” said St. Petersburg assistant chief Jim Previtera, “and become a voice for their families in helping to bring them justice.”

 

[Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2016 6:27pm]

    

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