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Tipster turns down reward for murder arrest

/ Source: The Associated Press

An anonymous tipster who was eligible to receive a $40,000 reward for providing information that led to an arrest in a murder case has turned the money down, asking that it go instead to a charity established in the victim’s name.

Ali Kemp, a 19-year-old college student, was strangled two years ago while working at a swimming pool in Leawood, Kan., an affluent Kansas City suburb. The widely publicized case generated thousands of leads, yet none of the tips produced an arrest.

But information provided by an anonymous caller led to the arrest last month of Benjamin Appleby, a former resident of the Kansas City area who was captured in Connecticut, where he was living under another name.

Appleby, 29, is charged with capital murder and attempted rape. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Crime Stoppers, a Kansas City agency that operates a hot line to help solve crimes, announced Monday that the tipster who provided the key information asked that the $40,000 go to the Ali Kemp Educational Foundation, which offers scholarships to high school students and self-defense training.

The victim’s father, Roger Kemp, said he was “floored” at the news. “It just goes to show how wonderful people in Kansas City are,” he said.

Crime Stoppers coordinator Craig Sarver said officials do not know the identity of any tipsters. “Everything is truly anonymous,” Sarver said. “We give them code numbers.”