ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) – Pine Lawn police are now offering an $8,000 reward to find the killer of a mother whose 3-month-old boy was found abandoned in a Breckenridge Hills apartment complex.
Authorities say Ebony Jackson, 30, was found dead in a truck Tuesday morning after investigators located her car in the 4400 block of Elmbank in north St. Louis.
Autopsy results released Thursday determined she died after being shot in the neck.
Immediately after her death, Pine Lawn police began collecting money to give to a person who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of Jackson’s killer.
Pine Lawn officers said the original goal was to reach $5,000, but they ended up raising at least $8,000.
St. Louis County police has also said anyone with information could get up to $1,000 for an arrest.
Anyone who may know the suspect is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.
Officers were able to find Jackson’s vehicle with the help of a GPS tracking device, which are installed in vehicles to allow it to be located if payments are not made.
The search for Jackson started Jan. 4 when Jackson’s 3-month-old son, Donovan Prom, was found about 5 a.m. at the Hickory Trace apartment complex in Breckenridge Hills. The hallway was fully enclosed so the child was shielded from the cold morning. He was in a car seat, with a blanket over him and a bottle of milk by his side. A resident of the complex found the child as he was going to work and called police.
Local family members came forward after seeing the child’s photo on the news. They told investigators that Jackson lived in Oklahoma City with her boyfriend and the child’s father, Craig Prom, but was coming to East St. Louis to visit. Jackson reportedly saw local family members before she disappeared.
From the very beginning, the family questioned the Breckenridge Hills Police Department’s handling of the case.
“They dropped the ball, they failed Ebony,” said Jackson’s aunt, Jackie Simon. “There was a four-day time lapse where possibly everything they did Monday could have been done Friday.”
Police explained they were forced to get a court order to allow the dealership to activate the device. Because the disappearance happened on a Friday, they said, investigators were forced to wait until Monday to get the out-of-town company to comply.
But Simon says Breckenridge Hills police were hard to get a hold of from the beginning. She questions whether they were able to take on a case so large.
“Were they even big enough to handle something of this magnitude. Did they call in resources to help them? What did they do? I don’t see anything,” Simon said.
From the moment Jackson disappeared, Simon said Breckenridge Hills police weren’t communicating with the family.
Every time there was an update in the case, family members were hearing it first from reporters.
“That’s how I found out. What does that say about the department when you heard from usNot police? What are they doing? Did they ever take this case seriously?”
Breckenridge Hills Police Chief Perry Hopkins admits his department did not communicate as well as they should have. But he promises he put every resource he has into locating Jackson.
“The effort was put into it,” Hopkins said. “We were not not doing our job, we very much were. Unfortunately, Breckenridge Hills is not a large police department.”
Police said neither Prom nor Jackson had any known connection to the apartment complex. He said there was no video surveillance there, and surveillance cameras at neighboring businesses were not pointed in that direction.