One year after a 5-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run collision, Sioux City police are stepping up the efforts to make an arrest in the case by offering a $5,000 reward.
Police Chief Joe Frisbie made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday, on the one-year anniversary of the death of Anthony Lee "Tony" Evans.
"No doubt there is someone out there who knows something," Frisbie said. "Someone close to this individual probably knows something. Hopefully if this person is not moved by conscience to come forward, maybe they can be moved by money."
The $5,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person driving the vehicle that hit Anthony on that sunny day, June 20, 2000. The money is being made available through the police department's asset forfeiture funds, such as money obtained during drug seizures. This is the first time the department has offered a reward with these funds.
Anthony and his mother, Michelle Evans, were returning to their home at 1016 21st Street. Michelle parked the car on the opposite side of the street and prepared to cross. A westbound truck drove past the car, swerved to miss Michelle and struck Anthony.
Anthony died the following day at Mercy Medical Center. Since then, police have exhausted almost all efforts to find the driver of the white Dodge Dakota pickup truck, 1996 or newer model with an extended cab or possibly four doors. The police checked on hundreds of white Dodge pickups in the area, as well as visiting car dealerships and body shops. Officers also canvassed the neighborhood where the accident occurred, going door-to-door.
Officer Marc Hein, who is investigating the accident, said about 100 tips have been followed from the Crimestoppers hotline.
"I feel sad for the family, just knowing the hardship they have to go through," Hein said. "The family has helped a lot. I hope with the reward that someone with direct knowledge will come forward."
Bruce and Michelle Evans moved out of Sioux City after the accident, but are believed to have moved back, Sgt. Jim McCrystal said. Attempts were made to reach the family Wednesday, but with no immediate success.
A memorial to Anthony was set up on 21st Street near where he was hit. A large photo of the smiling child was framed and attached to a pole. Flowers enclosed in a white fence and a small Matchbox car paid tribute to Anthony.
"The likelihood of this person having been involved in the
accident and having told someone close to them, I think is very
likely," Frisbie said. "The individual is out there and listening.
God only knows what made this person flee the scene. I'm sure this
is big burden on their life. They have the opportunity to come
forth and clear this up."