Volunteer group that helps investigators crack cold cases in need of help

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Crime Stoppers of Minnesota, a volunteer-driven group, is now in need of more help to continue its efforts of providing tips from the community to law enforcement.

“We’re struggling to get things done,” said new Crime Stoppers chair Camila Gadotti.

Crime Stoppers is in search of more volunteers to help with outreach, sorting through tips, and fundraising efforts that are used to provide reward money for unsolved cases in the Minnesota.

“A lot of people don’t feel safe contacting law enforcement directly, we provide 100% anonymity,” Gadotti said.

Crimes victimizing young children are some of the cases that Crime Stoppers are looking for tips to help investigators solve.

That includes the case of 3-year-old Terrell Mayes Jr. He was killed by a stray bullet that hit him as he ran up the stairs the day after Christmas in 2011.

And in 2021, 6-year-old Aniya Allen died after getting hit by a stray bullet while sitting in the back seat of her mother’s car in Minneapolis.

“We need to help people who have had the unfortunate destiny of this happening to them,” Gadotti said.

Crime Stoppers allows people to report crime information anonymously without fear of retaliation. The group says more than 1,000 tips were given to them last year.

“I’ve seen so many crimes solved by Crime Stoppers, by people who pick up the phone and leave information,” said Capt. John Elder, with the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department.

Elder said Crime Stoppers works as a bridge between the community and law enforcement.

“It’s particularly helpful for people to provide information and not be labeled in their community,” Elder said.

You can find out more about Crime Stoppers on the organization’s website.