Valdosta Daily Times

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May 16, 2013

VPD offers reward for leads on beauty store murder

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta Police Department has offered to exchange $2,500 for a name or any other information that leads to the arrest of the persons responsible for the murder and robbery that took place at a beauty shop last Friday night.

Investigators would rather not wait for evidence analysis to return before making an arrest in the case, according to Police Chief Brian Childress, who confirmed that authorities had advised the family of Kanwaljit Spai, 62, that police were offering a reward for information.

“I want to be clear, in stating that we have evidence in the case that we have submitted to both the VLRCL (Valdosta Lowndes Regional Crime lab) and GBI crime labs. It's just a matter of waiting for it to be analyzed,” said Childress. “But in the meantime, we want the offender or offenders in custody quickly. We’re offering a $2,500 reward to anyone who provides us with information that leads to the arrest of the offender or offenders in this case.”

Last Friday, at approximately 10 p.m., police officers responded to a reported shooting at the Ashley Beauty Supply store at 1507 North Ashley Street. Spai was apparently closing the business for the night when the gunman held up the business.

Investigators aren't ruling out the possibility of more than one person being involved in this case, according to Childress, who cautioned that the approach didn't necessarily mean that multiple people were involved in the shooting and robbery.

There was no evidence found that indicates the incident was gang-related, according to Childress, and there was no cause to seize the video poker terminals that were discovered at the back of the store and later processed by crime scene technicians.

 “There's a statute that allows businesses to operate a set number of machines of the type we found, so long as if you operate the machines, you can't hand out monetary rewards because that constitutes gambling in the state of Georgia. Do we believe they were or were not involved in illegal gambling at the facilities? I'm not willing to say right now. But we don't think this was a random thing. We think for one reason or another, some one targeted that business,” Childress said.

Police will accept anonymous tips, but tipsters will need to identify themselves in order to claim the reward, stated Childress. Detectives have pursued several leads and have followed up on persons who they felt may be pertinent to the case. Police aren't ruling out anyone at this point.

Tips may be provided to the Valdosta Lowndes Regional Crime Lab at 293-3091 or to the police department's lead detective at 229-293-3111. Tipsters may also visit the Valdosta Police Department in person at 500 North Toombs Street.

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