Were You at Rocky River Reservation on June 4 Between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.?

click to enlarge The bench where Carnell Sledge and Kate Brown were shot and killed June 4th.
The bench where Carnell Sledge and Kate Brown were shot and killed June 4th.

Update: Months after the double homicide of Carnell Sledge and Kate Brown at the Rocky River Reservation in June, the FBI and Crime Stoppers are now offering a potential reward of $30,000 to anyone offering valuable information in the case. 

This is a jump from the original reward of $20,000. The murders remain unsolved.

(Original story June 25, 2019): Cleveland Metroparks police chief Katherine Dolan and FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Office Eric Smith updated the press Monday afternoon on the double homicide at Rocky River Reservation earlier this month. The goal of the press conference, held at the FBI's Cleveland field office, was principally to publicize the need for more information. 

While they have received numerous tips, Dolan and Smith said that there are likely witnesses who might not know they saw something important. They have asked anyone who was in Rocky River Reservation between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. June 4, especially near the area described below, to contact the tip line: (440) 331-5219.

Carnell Sledge and Kate Brown were shot and killed in broad daylight on what was a warm, sunny evening. They arrived in separate vehicles at the pulloff parking lot just north of the Lorain Bridge on Valley Parkway shortly after 5 p.m. The two friends sat together on a bench overlooking the river when they were killed (between 5:08 and 5:15 p.m.)

Smith said that this is among the busiest times of the day for the Reservation. There likely would have been joggers, cyclists and motorists nearby. Kayakers came upon the bodies at 5:18 p.m. and called the police.

"You may have seen something that will give us a critical piece of information," said Smith, "even if you don't think it's important."  

Dolan reiterated that the killing was an isolated incident — she would not say that the killing was "targeted," but neither was it "totally random" — and that folks should still make use of the Metroparks.

"Just be vigilant," she said. "And if you see something, say something."

No additional information regarding the evidence investigators have collected or potential motives in the slayings were released. Cleveland Metroparks detectives are continuing to work the case in coordination with BCI, the Medical Examiner's office and the FBI.

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