Rewards for McGhee increased

Published 5:42 pm Friday, April 9, 2004

By Staff
Arthur McLean Editor
A recent church yard sale and action by Gov. Bob Riley will increase the reward for information in the Melinda Wall-McGhee case.
McGhee, a mother of three from the Poarch area was reported missing over a year ago.
A $5,000 reward is already being offered by the state, and Riley announced Friday, that he is doubling the amount to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for her disappearance.
In addition to the governor's announcement, the members of Cross Point Baptist Church held a large yard sale and bake-sale to increase the reward money offered in McGhee's case.
Church pastor J.T. Guyton said the sale was a success, with church members and local businesses donating items for the indoor yard sale. "We had many people who just came to donate money Saturday," Guyton said.
"There was a lot of support for this effort from the community," Guyton said. "We're planning an auction soon to raise more money."
"We just felt like we should do what's right, for one of our own," said church member?
An account has also be established at First National Bank to receive donations for the reward money. Anyone wishing to donate, may do so at any First National Bank of Atmore branch.
Anyone with information on the cast can contact the Escambia County Sheriff's Department at 251-867-0304.
In a different case, reward money is also increasing for information leading to the capture of people stealing items from graves in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Days after she announced a reward for information leading the return of items stolen from her son's grave, Jewel Singleton has received help to increase the reward amount.
Singleton now says she has at least $150 in reward money to offer after members from the Atmore Ambulance service and other local businesses stepped in to help.
Singleton said the reward is offered for proof that leads to the return of the stolen items or the arrest of the person responsible.
"If they can prove that information that leads to recovering what I put there, there will be no questions asked," Singleton said.
She asks that anyone with any information call the Atmore Police Department.
Her son, Darrall Walker, died last year at 17. She has placed a small marker, a ceramic angel and other items at his grave in Oak Hill Cemetery. All the items have been stolen over the course of several months.
Theft and vandalism is a problem at the cemetery, said other area residents. Several reported having personal items stolen from the grave sites of family members.
For Singleton, the cost of the items is not the issue, but the desecration of someone's memory and the devaluing of a family's love and loss.
One person said "I hope they get what they deserve in the end."
"I'm sick and tired of them taking stuff. It's not worth much, but it means a lot to me," Singleton said. "I'm not the only one who's had things stolen out there."
People with information can contact the Atmore Police Department at 368-9141.

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