Where did the Lorenzen Wright reward money go?

(Memphis, Tenn) It remains a mystery who killed Memphis basketball player Lorenzen Wright, leaving his body in a Southeast Memphis field, shot to death.

The reward for information reached $21,000 a few years ago, but  Buddy Chapman, head of CrimeStoppers told us what they have in hand is far from $21,000.

“The only guarantee CrimeStoppers has and the only money CrimeStoppers has to pay out on that is $1,000,” said Chapman.

The $21,000 reward announced a in 2011 was made up of $1,000 from CrimeStoppers, $5,000 from the City of Memphis.

The Grizzlies gave $5,000 and $10,000 came from the state.

All Crimestoppers can account for is their money and the city’s portion, as long as the City Council Council keeps it in the fund.

It is unusual for donations to be announced and not turned over.

“Normally when we have a reward, CrimeStoppers has to have the money in order to pay it out. So if we say you are gonna get this much money for calling 528-CASH, then we have to have the money to pay it out,” said Chapman.

He said they put the money in escrow.

We contacted the Grizzlies and they say they still stand by their commitment and who holds the money doesn’t matter, but they were never asked to turn it over to CrimeStoppers.

The state said its reward stands for five years and is payable upon apprehension, arrest, and conviction.

People wonder if the case will ever be solved.

“He has been gone a long time but more money would bring out more witnesses, more evidence, more tips hopefully and come up with his killers,” said LaDarrius Bryant of Memphis.

CrimeStoppers said tips have been slow.

“This case is four years old, probably in the last 2 to 3 years we haven’t received any calls at all,” says Chapman.

The annual candlelight vigil in memory of Lorenzen Wright will be held at 7:00 Saturday evening outside the Fed-Ex Forum.

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