BANNING–The city of Banning is offering a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of a suspect in an unsolved triple homicide.
On September 6, police discovered three victims murdered in Banning. The bodies of Cynthia Yvonne Smith, 57, and Natasha Biggers, 33, of Banning, were found inside a home about 12:30 p.m. along with that of Demetrius Hunt, 42, in his home on Phillips Avenue at Williams Street. Bigger’s 2-year-old son was initially reported as missing and with reports of a car fleeing the scene, feared abducted. Three hours later one of the officers heard him crying in a modified bathroom in the downstairs apartment on the property and found the toddler bound and gagged. He was dehydrated and bruised from being bound, but not harmed.
No suspects have been identified in the killings. According to Hunt’s father, Purvis Hunt, his son was a known drug dealer and the case may be gang related. However, police will not confirm this while they continue to investigate the crime.
On February 26, the Banning City Council approved a $25,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for this crime. The reward was funded with police department salary savings from the budget.
Suspects have yet to be identified but the city council and Police Chief Leonard Purvis are hopeful that the reward will assist in the conviction of the murderer. “Obviously, this is a very heinous crime,” Purvis told The Los Angeles Times. “This doesn’t happen very often in any city.”
The Banning Police Department requests that anyone with information on this case call Detective Robert Merritt at (951)849-1144.
Patch.com, $25,000 reward for info in Phillips Avenue homicides unclaimed