WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita police offered new details Wednesday into the investigation of the brutal attack on a woman found burned in Fairmount Park on Friday evening.
There seems to be momentum gathering from residents in the Fairmount neighborhood who say more needs to be done to provide a safe environment for them.
“They’re doing everything right by it, they’re trying to find this person, and they’re flooding the community with their presence, which is needed,” said resident Tony Hill. “The community needs to know, these people with families especially, need to know that this community is safe. And the Wichita PD is doing all they can to find this perpetrator. Cause he needs to be in a cage. He don’t need to be on these streets no more.”
The neighborhood meeting was a fairly small gathering, about a dozen residents or so. Many of the neighborhood residents said they either could not make it or had already heard from police on Saturday, right after the attack happened.
“There are things that happen, but I think it’s a good neighborhood and I don’t think it’s particularly unsafe,” said Larry Young.
Police made themselves available to talk to the residents about their concerns. One of them was better lighting in the park and neighborhood.
“It’s been safe, but the park looks isolated, so this gives them a chance for all the illegal action they make,” said WSU student Siddharth Karusala.
Some students said they have noticed some differences, including the lights in Fairmount Park staying on at night and increased patrols in the neighborhood.
Also at the meeting, it was announced that the reward for information has now doubled to $5,000, with a donation of $2,500 from a local businessman.
Police said that usually at this point in the case, they’ve received maybe one or two calls for tips. With this case, those numbers have almost tripled.
“The information I got earlier in the week from the Wichita Police Department was that they had no leads in the case and these tips which may turn out to be leads are very important because one of more of them could provide the vital information that would lead to the arrest of the person or persons who committed this heinous act,” said Gordon Bassham of the Wichita Crime Commission.
Vital information that police say they’ve been missing in this investigation that has left a woman fighting for her life, after being burned and left for dead at Fairmount Park.
Those from the neighborhood said the news of the incident was a major set back in efforts to revive the community.
“We have been proactive in terms of our community advocacy for the past, I’d say 9, 10 years, so the pendulum was moving in the right direction the news on Friday night set us back into like the stone age because that was very jarring,” said Darryl Carrington with the Fairmount Neighborhood Association.
Neighbors are hoping that input from the public could help lead to an arrest.