ALTON, Ill. (AP) -- The family of a 28-year-old southern Illinois man who was shot to death four years ago hopes a reward totaling more than $5,000 will sway people who witnessed the crime "to do the right thing" and come forward.
DaRon Hearn was gunned down outside an Alton public housing complex on April 2, 2007.
Police say they've identified suspects, but the investigation has stalled because no one who saw the shooting will cooperate with authorities.
That frustrates Hearn's grieving mother, Debra Bradley, who submitted to The (Alton) Telegraph an anguished three-page plea to any witnesses.
"God has placed this on my heart for a while to speak out and say something," she wrote. "I pray that someone will take heed and listen and do what should have been done four years ago. To lose a child is so hard to bear."
Hearn's family has raised $3,000 in reward money, and someone donated another $2,500 to the police department.
Alton Police Chief David Hayes said the department will match whatever the family raises.
"We know several eye-witnesses saw that incident, and we want it as much as Ms. Bradley for them to come talk to us; it can be confidentially and on their own terms," Hayes said. "Without them, we can never make the case."
Whoever claims the money would likely have to testify in court.
Bradley said Hearn's two young sons "are ready to be with their dad." He also is survived by a 15-year-old daughter and several siblings.
"I'm just hoping someone will do the right thing, not just for the money," she said.
"I keep DaRon's picture of him in his casket on my dresser," she added. "I kiss the picture every morning when I get up. I tell him, `I love you; I will find out who did it."'
Information from: The Telegraph, http://www.thetelegraph.com
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)