JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Justice Coalition announced a $5,000 reward Tuesday afternoon for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the killing of Tina McQuaig, who disappeared in 2000.
Sheriff John Rutherford, Detective Warren Smith and McQuaig's family joined the Justice Coalition as they announce the reward.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Lt. Russell Nader and his family donated the reward money in honor of his good friend Mike McCue, who was killed outside his Jacksonville Beach home on Feb. 9.
"The community was there for us when we lost our family friend," Nader said. "In honor of Mike McCue, it is our honor to give this money to help solve the case."
Nader said it was a case of one family helping another and he hopes this reward will get Tina's family one step closer to closure.
Rutherford asked the public to come forward with whatever information they may have, however small it may be. He said that information could be the one little piece detectives need to solve the crime. Rutherford also promised the family that investigators would never stop trying to look for the evidence that will break this case.
"We hope any little bit of information can bring us closure and justice for our daughter," said Linda Rice, McQuaig's mother. "We want to thank the Nader family, who were complete strangers to us. We just heard last week about this reward. I have a lot of hope that we will have this case solved."
McQuaig, a 27-year-old wife and mother, disappeared on March 15, 2000, after leaving her pharmacy job at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center. Her car was found a few days later at a Walmart on Normandy Boulevard, but it offered no clues on her whereabouts.
On Dec. 26, 2002, a surveying crew found remains in a wooded area near Cecil Field, and in March 2003, police announced DNA testing identified the remains as McQuaig's. The Jacksonville medical examiner's office ruled her death a homicide, saying she died under violent circumstances.
Jacksonville police have followed several leads but have not made any arrests in the case.
The TV show "Disappeared: Investigation Discovery" will be focusing on McQuaig's disappearance and killing in an upcoming episode.
The Justice Coalition hopes the reward will help bring in new information that will solve the case. Anyone with information should call police at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.
- March 10, 2003: Police: Woman Missing For 3 Years Was Murdered
- January 6, 2003: Police Believe Remains Could Be McQuaig
- March 1, 2002: Families Hope Billboards Will Bring Leads On Missing Persons
- March 14, 2001: Local Woman Still Missing After A Year