Reward money being raised to solve murders of 2 children killed by stray bullets

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INDIANAPOLIS. — Reward money is being raised to solve the murders of two innocent children killed by stray bullets in Indianapolis.

Sitting next to her mother in their car near 38th and Arlington, a stray bullet took the life of 16-year-old Nya Cope earlier this month.

“They took her in front of me and I couldn’t save her,” said Nya’s mother Nikki Cope on May 5.

Just last week, Nya’s mother issued a tearful plea for help catching her daughter’s killer.

“Whoever did this I want them to know they took my only little girl, my only baby, and I am so hurt,” she said.

Nearly one month earlier, numerous gunshots were fired in a neighborhood near Tacoma and a stray bullet killed 8-year-old Rodgerick Payne Jr. as he ate dinner.

The lead detective on the case has admitted he has been frustrated by the lack of help from the community.

“I’ve been in homicide three years and this is the first case I’ve had with so little information,” said IMPD detective Chris Edwards on April 27.

“You know I have been doing this for 21 years and have seen a lot of deaths, but these two really hit me,” said reverend Charles Harrison.

Harrison, with the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, says an anonymous donor offered him $2,000 to be used as reward money in both cases.

Ten Point is now raising matching funds and hopes to collect as much as $10,000 to track down Nya and Rodgerick’s killers.

“As a city we have to be outraged about this and do all we can to bring some sense of justice and closure,” said Harrison.

In addition to the reward from the Ten Point Coalition, Crime Stoppers is also offering a $1,000 reward for information in both cases. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling 317-262-TIPS (8477).

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