Bill and Peggy Stephenson
(Florence, Ky.) - The deadline for a $100,000 reward for information regarding an unsolved Florence double-murder has passed.
The children of Bill and Peggy Stephenson were offering the reward until Thursday. The 74-year-old couple was found murdered in their home on Ridge Edge Court in Florence on Memorial Day weekend 2011.
It is unclear if any significant developments were made as a result of the hefty reward.
Boone County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tom Scheben said the Stephenson case now has some of the top experts in the country analyzing it. Detectives are now receiving help from the Vidocq Society, which is a group of more than 80 forensic professionals and other experts.
The Vidocq Society has helped solve dozens of cold cases pro bono. Investigators presented the case to the society in Philadelphia November 15.
“There was a consensus among the Vidocq members who took part in the consultation that this is clearly a solvable crime and the unique characteristics of the homicide have provided valuable information about the offender,” said Vidocq member Mark Safarik.
Safarik said the offender likely made disparaging comments about the victims or related family members immediately after the homicides when there were news stories. Comments that at the time would have seemed odd to whoever heard them as they had no context within which to evaluate the comments.
“The public should also be cognizant of anyone talking disparagingly about either the victims or their immediate family members in response to articles that will appear in the media as we devote significant resources to the investigation. For example, the offender may have said in a response to a news piece on the case, that the victims probably deserved it or they should have locked their doors or been more careful. Something to that effect,” Safarik said.
Additionally, Vidocq has provided perpetrator profile information which is giving investigators another option to explore. In addition, the Society is willing to assist by providing financial support for expensive private testing for DNA and any electronic evidence.
Since the $100,000 reward expired Thursday, the Stephenson family is planning on making a donation to the Vidocq Society, Scheben said.
Boone County Sheriff Michal Helmig is urging everyone to think back to that Memorial Day weekend, even the small details.
“We’re looking for information on anyone that may have had ties to our area,” Helmig said. “This could be a person who visited Oakbrook or the surrounding area that weekend or it could be as innocuous as teenagers who hang out around the plaza across the street. Many area high schools had graduation events that night. Also, anyone who noticed behavior changes in another since that Memorial Day weekend which could include an increase in drug or alcohol use, hospitalization for unexplained mental issues, or a general change in their personality that seems unusual.”
Anybody with information is urged to contact the Boone County Sheriff’s Office Stephenson Tip Line at (859) 334-8496 or go to www.boonecountyky.org/SO.