National News

Woman who helped ID serial murder suspect could be entitled to 6-figure reward

Posted November 30, 2017 9:17 a.m. EST

— When Howell Donaldson walked into the Ybor McDonald's where he worked on Tuesday and asked his manager, Delonda Walker, to hide a paper bag with a gun in it, she alerted the police instead.

Later that day, police arrested Donaldson. He is now facing four counts of premeditated murder, all related to a string of killings that gripped the Tampa, Florida, neighborhood of Seminole Heights with fear and confounded authorities for nearly two months.

Walker's actions were heroic, the Tampa Police Department said. But her good deed may also entitle her to a huge payment.

In total, $110,000 of reward money was offered by local groups and government agencies for information leading to an arrest of a suspect in the serial murders.

According to CNN affiliate WFTS, Crime Stoppers Tampa has already said she is not eligible for its $5,000 reward, because she did not call its hotline. However, Walker did receive a $9,000 check, hand-delivered by a local restaurant chain owner named Richard Gonzmart.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives all offered substantial rewards "for information leading to the arrest of the unknown suspect(s)" involved in the murders.

The FBI told WFTS that whether someone gets the $50,000 it offered in connection with the case, and how the decision would be made, is not a public matter.

"Whether or not the reward money is paid, and to whom, is not information law enforcement will share with the public," a statement from the FBI read. "The FBI has paid and continues to pay out reward money to tipsters who have provided valuable information."

Regardless of the possible figures, it's clear the money isn't the first thing on Walker's mind.

"At this time, I am speaking exclusively with police and am appreciative that they were nearby and quickly acted upon the information I discovered and shared with the police officer," she said in a statement to WFTS. "I am also appreciative of the outpouring of support from the community. My thoughts are focused on the victims and their families."