Springfield Police using billboards to aid homicide investigations

Aug 09, 2018
Cars drive past a billboard along East Main Street, placed by the Springfield Police Division, asking for help solving an unsolved homicide case. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

The Springfield Police Division wants to keep unsolved homicide cases fresh in the minds of the public. They’ve taken a new approach to asking for information — billboards.

Once a month, detectives will focus their community efforts on a new case. This month, it’s James Mundy.

Mundy was killed in June 2015 at the intersection of Rice Street and Josephine Street. He was shot and taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center, where he died.

RELATED: No arrests after Springfield man shot, killed on Rice Street

There were 13 homicides in Springfield the year Munday was killed. To date, all but two of them have been solved — Mundy’s is one of them.

Three years later, it’s still fresh for his mom, Prudence Mundy.

“It almost feels, at times like a lifetime and one minute, I just feel like it happened yesterday,” she said. “We all miss him. He was our jokester. He always keeping it interesting. You can tell — he always loved to smile and laugh.”

She saw the billboard, located near East Columbia Street and Fast Lane car wash, for the first time on Thursday, and blew her son a kiss. She’s one of many moms who’ve lost a child this year.

So far in 2018, there have been 11 homicides.

“We shouldn’t have to worry about our child or loved one walking out of the house and not coming back,” Mundy said.

IN-DEPTH: Springfield homicides up, nearly matching 2017 total

The billboards are paid for by the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, with help from Lamar Advertising Company. Fliers will also be hung up in the police station, the jail, the courthouse and the neighborhoods in which the homicides were committed.

Mundy said the billboard campaign gives her mixed feelings — she doesn’t like seeing her son on a billboard because he was killed, but she is hopeful that it’ll give the police the answers they need to finally solve his case.

Detective James McCutcheon has been working on Mundy’s case since the beginning. He said there are three detectives who work on adult homicide cases, and they do everything they can to find answers.

“We hear people say all the time Springfield P-D doesn’t care — it’s just another body. The fact of the matter is, we do care,” he said. “The detectives, we all have these individuals’ faces hung up in front of our desks. We see them everyday.”

Both Mundy and McCutcheon said a big problem is the lack of people willing to go on the record with information, and they need help from the community.

MORE COVERAGE: Second family takes out billboard for teen shot, killed in Springfield

Mundy urges people not take the ‘it doesn’t affect me’ mindset.

“I saw these murders going on, but I never thought — my son. He wasn’t a violent person himself. Why mine? And back in 2015, I had to bury my son,” she said. “Only you can stop this from occurring. I know it’s scary but we need to start speaking up.”

McCutcheon hopes this campaign is successful, not just for the Mundy family but for all of those families still looking for closure.

“As nice of a lady as Prudence is — I don’t want to talk to her anymore. I want to close this case for her and get some justice for her and her family,” he said.

McCutcheon said the initiative will continue until funding runs out.