Investigators put up billboards asking for tips in cold case

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email
Billboard for murder of Kyle Royal (WRDW-TV)

Billboard for murder of Kyle Royal (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, June 12, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- This year, we've had 15 murders in Richmond County, but only one remains unsolved.

Kyle Royal, 16, was killed outside the Magic City nightclub back in January.

Six months later, investigators still don't know who is responsible. Now, they are asking for information in a big way. Investigators have put up billboards throughout Augusta with Royal's picture on it.

Richmond County deputies have never done this before, but they say, at this point, it's worth a try.

"I'm glad that they just haven't let it go dormant," said Royal's father, Charlie Royal. "I'm actually glad for the billboards and any kind of help they've been given."

Back in January, Royal was found dead in the backseat of a car and investigators have been searching for his killer ever since.

"We've exhausted almost every investigative lead," said Lt. Blaise Dresser with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

So they decided to try a new approach -- the Richmond County Sheriff's office is paying for three billboards to stay up for a month.

"We're looking, before the case gets too cold, for someone who may have missed the initial information put out the first three times," Dresser said.

The billboards include his picture, reward information, a phone number and a big picture of the type of gun investigators are sure killed him.

"Maybe if they see this and they see this particular gun, which is not the most common gun in the world -- there's not lots and lots of them floating around all over Augusta, that may be the one link we need to solve this case," Dresser said.

The billboards are all posted in busy locations or near where the shooting happened; one on Deans Bridge Road, one on Peach Orchard Road and the other at 15th and Broad streets.

"We know from our investigation that people who were present will basically travel past one of these three signs at one point in time," Dresser said.

Royal's father is ready for an arrest.

"It's lonely," he said. "Some days I come home anticipating him here, but knowing that he won't ever be here again, so I just try to cherish the memories we have and move forward from there."

But he says it will be hard to move forward until they know who is responsible for taking away his son.

The Sheriff's Office is getting a discounted rate from a billboard company and, unfortunately, that company did not have any billboards on Mike Padgett Highway, so they chose what they believed will be the best locations to get some information.

If you have any information, call the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. The reward is up to $5,000.


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