A serious crime has been solved with the help of information received through Nova Scotia’s Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program.
A tip received through the program helped police charge Elmer Higgins with the murders of Earle Stewart and Matthew Hebb. The bodies of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Hebb were found in a burnt structure on Dec. 12, 2012, in Sheet Harbour, Halifax Regional Municipality. Both had been shot.
The individual who came forward with the tip has been paid $100,000.
The case was added to Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program in January 2016. An individual provided investigators with information in March 2017 that led to charging Mr. Higgins with second degree murder. Mr. Higgins died from a chronic health condition while in custody awaiting trial.
“My thoughts continue to be with the family and loved ones of Mr. Stewart and Mr. Hebb,” said Justice Minister Mark Furey. “I hope the answers gathered as a result of this investigation have given them some closure.”
“I also urge anyone with information on any of our unsolved cases to take advantage of the incentives and please come forward.”
The Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program has been in place since 2006. A reward of up to $150,000 will be paid from the Department of Justice to the person who provided the information. The amount of the award is determined by the importance of the information received.
“Information received regarding the homicides of Earle Stewart and Matthew Hebb was crucial to solving this investigation,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Lisa Stuart, Integrated Criminal Investigation Division. “We thank the public for coming forward with tips that have a significant impact on such investigations.”
In 2014, the program paid the maximum reward of $150,000 to an individual who came forward with information leading to a conviction in the 2011 Melissa Peacock homicide. A second reward in the amount of $150,000 was given out in March 2016 in relation to the 2010 murder of Ryan White. The reward announced today represents the third paid out by the program.
Those who come forward must provide their name and contact information. They may be called to testify in court. All calls will be recorded.
Anyone with information should call the Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program at 1-888-710-9090.
Source : Media Release