FLORENCE, Ky. - A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed Bill and Peggy Stephenson at their Florence home last May.
The reward was announced Wednesday by the three adult children of the couple during a news conference at the Boone County Sheriff's Office. They hope the reward and their plea to the public for help will generate new leads in the case.
"We would like to thank our family, friends and the public for the outpouring of love and support shown to us since May 29, 2011," said Doug Stephenson on behalf of his brother, Tom, and sister Beth. "The many prayers offered up for our family is greatly appreciated and a true testament (breaks down) to our wonderful parents, Bill and Peggy Stephenson."
The couple was found dead in their Ridge Edge Court home after they failed to show up for Sunday church services.
Doug Stephenson praised the Boone County Sheriff's Office for treating the family with compassion and respect and asked for God's guidance to help them as the case goes forward.
"Mom and dad's love for God, the care they showed to others and all the hearts they touched over the past 74 years is what defines our family and that will never be taken away from us," he said, while occasionally pausing to hold back tears.
He added the past eight months have been especially hard on the grandchildren.
"It has truly been a nightmare having their grandparents violently ripped from their lives without cause," he said.
"While we know they are in a much better place (breaks down) there's not a day goes by that our hearts don't ache over losing them in such a brutal and senseless way."
The children said they believe the killer is still "walking among us" and that someone in the community has information to help find whoever is responsible for the crime.
"We will not rest until justice is done and we need all the help that you can provide at this time," he said. "We ask for your continued prayers for our families and everyone involved in this case."
Boone County Sheriff Mike Helmig turned to the children and vowed that he will continue the team investigative effort.
"Today, I want to make a promise to you children -- that we will not stop and we will bring those that are responsible for the death of your parents to justice."
Boone County Commonwealth Attorney Linda Tally-Smith said she believes the case will be solved and justice will be done for the entire community.
"A senseless offense like this is an affront to all of us and we should all be living in fear based upon what happened in Boone County on May the 29 of last year," she said. "We're also convinced that the public is a key to bringing resolution in this particular case and that there are in fact people out there that has information that will be helpful in bringing about justice sooner rather than later."
Somebody out there "knows who did it," said Tom Scheben, spokesperson for the sheriff's office.
Within a month after the double homicide, detectives obtained a photo of a man seen with Bill Stephenson at the T.A. Truck Stop in Florence days before he died. That person was located in Georgia and questioned by authorities.
In July, 2011, investigators identified transient Sherman Angel as someone also seen with Bill Stephenson at the truck stop. Angel called deputies when he heard they were looking for him and submitted to an interview.
The last substantial tip came from a caller to the Shelbyville, Kentucky, Police Department on Sept. 12, 2011. That person mentioned a name, but it was determined there were four people in Kentucky with the same name.
People with information are asked to call the Boone County Sheriff's Office at (859) 334-2175 or Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040.