Kathryn Colbert says she is the tipster that notified the Escambia Sheriff's office of a red van she believed might be connected to the murders of Byrd and Melanie Billings. Eight people are now under arrest in the Billings murders. See 8-10-09 update below. She was right. Her neighbor was Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Sr., the first person arrested for the murders. The Gonzalez, Sr. home was across the street from Ms. Colbert, a 78-year-old woman. You can read the all the details here. Now here's the rest of the story: Colbert watched three men work on the red van in Gonzalez, Sr.'s front yard.
There were so many people coming in and out. It was strange," Colbert said of Gonzalez Sr.'s Palm Court home. "They just walked in like they lived there."So when the photo of the red van was flashed across the country, it meant some to Kathryn Colbert. She called the Crimestopper tip line on Saturday morning after the Thursday night murders, but as you might expect, the line was busy. She called the Sheriff's office direct and gave someone there her information. There is a $3,000.00 reward from Crimestoppers. Ms. Colbert will not receive the reward because her tip did not go through Crimestoppers. That's all well and good, but here's the quote of the day:
Crime Stoppers director Jeff Van Camp said that because Kathryn Colbert's tip came through the Sheriff's Office, she is not eligible for the $3,000 reward. He also claimed that someone else might have given the Sheriff's Office the same tip." We're taking her word for it, but all I know is you've got to call Crime Stoppers to get a reward," Van Camp said. "She should have had a little patience."Mr. Van Camp needs to apologize to Kathryn Colbert, a citizen who was doing the most she could do to help find the murderers of Byrd and Melanie Billings. Since when is "patience" a virtue when notifying authorities that a killer may be living across the street. Update 7-20-09: Byrd Billings Human Trafficking? Update 8-10-09: Today there are speculations unconfirmed by authorities that Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. was the lone shooter and planned a contract hit on the Billings, while telling those at the murder scene with him and now charged with murder, that a home invasion robbery, only, was planned. A second safe containing $100,000.00 is said to have been found in the home that the robbers/murders could not access. Authorities have not confirmed this safe. Another arrest has been with possible links to the Billings' murders. Henry Cab Tice owned Byrd Billings $10,000 and Billings had filed a complaint against Tice in May 2008 for grand theft. See Henry Cab Tice is Byrd Billings Arrested Debtor: Tice Billings Mexican Mafia? Background and Related: Henry Cab Tice is Byrd Billings Arrested Debtor: Tice Billings Mexican Mafia? Byrd and Melanie Billings Murders Contract Hit? Billings Murders Tails of Trial Runs Rakeem Florence is Teenager charged in Billings Murders Patrick Poff is Leonard Patrick Gonzalez Jr.: Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. Profile Pamela Wiggins Bigamy Arrest: Pamela Long Wiggins Food Stamp Fraud? Byrd Billings Human Trafficking? Pamela Long Wiggins Bail, Billings Murders: Pamela Wiggins Multiple Marriages? Pamela Long Wiggins is Arrested: Billings Safe Found? Pamela Laverne Long is Person of Interest in Byrd, Melanie billings Murders Leonard Patrick Gonzalez, Jr. is Byrd, Melanie Billings Murder Organizer Byrd Billings, Melanie Billings Murdered: Billings Parents of 16 Children Byrd Billings, Melanie Billings Murder Arrests: Three Arrests in Billings Murders (video) Byrd, Melanie Billings Murders:Fourth Arrest Made, New Details