After two years and 500 leads that haven’t led to arrests in the brutal killing of Notus convenience store clerk Christopher Reese, investigators are still confident someone can provide the missing pieces.
The motivation might come from empathy for Reese’s young daughter or from a $50,000 reward offered by Reese’s employer, Jacksons Food Stores, Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue said Thursday.
Or, he said, the person might have seen something odd in the small rural community that early morning. Maybe the witness was a teen coming in late, he said, or a farmer heading out for the beet harvest.
Donahue touched on all those possible triggers Thursday at a news conference centered on a public plea for help solving the case that has been his department’s top priority since Dec. 17, 2014.
Reese was alone in the store when two masked gunmen entered. They immediately shot and killed the clerk, then used a handcart to remove a safe from behind the counter. They stole Reese’s vehicle, which they abandoned off Purple Sage Road just north of Caldwell — along with the safe, which they failed to open.
“We need some help here,” Ted Arnold of Crime Stoppers said at the news conference. “Somebody out there knows who did this.”
Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 454-7531 or Crime Stoppers at 208-343-COPS.
Electronic billboards across the Valley are bearing surveillance images of the two gunmen with pleas for people to come forward, Arnold said. The billboard space is donated by Lamar Outdoor Advertising. Other efforts to spark new tips have included a video re-creating the crime.
After the news conference, Donahue said he believes that someone had advance knowledge of the crime, helping the two men pull it off.
“It’s a very unique, rural spot,” he said. “In my opinion it was planned; it was choreographed. And that takes help.”
The sheriff also believes that the two men likely committed other crimes and/or are likely to commit new crimes and pose a danger to the public. He called the killing “very cold-blooded” and among the most violent he has ever seen.
He said he couldn’t release details of possible connections or leads in the case.
“We will never stop looking. We will never let go,” Donahue said, addressing the killers he hopes might see media reports. “We are coming, and we will eventually get you.”
Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447