INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Five months into the year and more than two dozen homicides in Indianapolis remain unsolved. Police are always asking for tips to help close these cases, but too often people aren't speaking up.
Debera Greene is waiting for that someone to speak up.
She lost her son Jerryn when he was just 19-years-old. Someone gunned him down on the street on the City's
"I couldn't believe that this would happen," said Greene.
On top of the grief, Greene still doesn't know who killed her son. She says detectives told her, they couldn't find credible witnesses. Her son's final moments remain a mystery.
"I'm thinking why can't they find the situation? Why can't they solve this?"
"It is just ingrained in your personality. You don't talk to the police," explained Detective Tim Conley. "You don't want to give that information, because you don't want anything retaliated against you or your family. I mean that's ingrained from the time you're able to walk and go outside and be with your friends"
Conley works at the Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana.
Last year, the crime fighting agency took 7,100 tips. That resulted in 320 felony arrests. The number grows each year, but too many cases remain unsolved.
"I think a lot of people know about us, but some of them might not trust us," said Steve DuBois, Director of Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana.
That's why he let us inside the guarded office so we can show you how his staff keeps your identity safe.
When you call in a tip, the phone at the headquarters only shows the Crime Stoppers hotline number. There is no caller ID.
Crime Stoppers will never ask for your name. They won't even let you use words like 'my neighbor' or 'next door' so you don't give yourself away.
"If you call this office and accidentally identify yourself, we'll tell you to hang up and call back," said DuBois.
Then, a detective types up your tip. You get a special number and a password. You use only these numbers to find out if the crime has been solved.
"If they lost this, we can't retrieve it," explained Conley.
Let's say your tip leads to an arrest. If you're worried about showing up to collect your reward, no need. DuBois explained how Crime Stoppers works with a third-party at a secret location to keep your identity safe.
"Our tipsters will come in. They will give a secret code. There will be a few things exchanged. They will hand them an envelope of cash. Nobody in this office will ever see them. Nobody will know who they are. The person on the other end has no idea what tip they were associated with."
If you're still not convinced, DuBois said, just take a look at their record.
"In 30 plus years we've never given up a single tipster."
Greene remembered what her son was like right before died.
"He wanted to live. He wanted a future," she said. "I personally will never ever live the rest of my life in peace."
So many lives cut short. Too many families suffering in silence, until you make a choice to speak up.
"This is the program where you can turn that around. You can take control of your neighborhood," said Conley.
If your tip leads to an arrest, Crime Stoppers will also help protect you from ever having to step foot in a courtroom. Since they do not know your name from the very beginning, they are unable to pass that information on to authorities
If you know anything that could help detectives solve a crime, call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.
Greene and other mothers who have lost their children to violence created a group called Mothers Against Violence Healing Ministry. If you'd like to connect with the group, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (317) 523-4757.