Group has questions after Cape Police solve homicide case

Police close homicide investigation, anti-violence group not told

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - An anti-violence group in the south side of Cape Girardeau is wondering why police did not tell them about a solving a homicide case that happened in their neighborhood in 2015.

It’s one of nine unsolved killings that Heartland News featured in November with the community group Stop Needless Acts of violence Please, or SNAP for short.

42-year-old Howard Smith Jr. was shot and killed on October 6, 2015.

Cape Girardeau police recently got new information and now considered Smith’s homicide closed after authorities spoke to a federal prison inmate who said he shot Smith in self defense.

Smith’s death is one of nine homicides that SNAP is following, so they want to know why they were left in the dark.

SNAP formed in 2016 and has been working with police to bridge the communication gap between members of the south cape neighborhood and the Police department.

Carolyn Ervin-Mobley is a volunteer with SNAP says police have attended their meetings in the past and moving forward the groups want to improve their communication with law enforcement about closed cases.

Sargent Rick Schmidt says the first people they update is the victim’s family.

“We work for the community, but right then we work for the family who has lost a loved one through no fault of their own. That is who we give information to," Schmidt said. “Groups in neighborhoods, we have to have them. We can’t solve these by ourselves. There are people in the world that don’t want to talk to us but they will talk to their neighbors.”

Schmidt says there are currently seven unsolved cases in Capes South side in the last ten years, and that the original investigators do not quit cases and continue to gather tips and follow leads even years after a homicide happens.

If you know anything about the unsolved homicides in south Cape Girardeau, a great tool is the anonymous tip line which does not give police any of your personal information.

To send a tip just text CAPEPD to 847411 or call 573-339-6313.

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