Historic payout given to tipsters who led to murder suspect’s arrest

Michael Mitchell (Photo: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Crime Stoppers of New Hanover County will pay out its largest reward since it was created in 1988.

Crime Stoppers is contributing $2,000 of the $5,000 reward offered to two people who gave information that led to the capture of murder suspect Michael Mitchell.

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19-year-old Mitchell was arrested on May 7 for allegedly murdering Willie Sellers Jr. on April 5.

The Wilmington Police Department is paying the other $3,000 of the reward money.

Crime Stoppers originally offered a $1,000 reward on April 29 and then with the help of the Wilmington Police Department increased it to $5,000 on May 1.

WPD spokeswoman says this year the organization has paid out more than $3,400 to people who have helped law enforcement solve crimes from Pender and New Hanover counties and the City of Wilmington.

“We are grateful to the help of our local Crime Stoppers Association and all they do to help keep our community safe,” WPD Chief Ralph Evangelous. “Without their help violent offenders would continue to evade police.”

Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization made up of local law enforcement representatives who raise funds to offer rewards for anonymous tips that help solve crimes in the Cape Fear region.