Wadesboro Police Chief Janie Schutz held a press conference on Thursday morning to announce that Gov. Bev Perdue has granted the police department a $5,000 reward for any information that will lead to the individual(s) responsible for the February murder of Sheri Lynn Evangelisti, 47. She also announced that the Anson County Sheriff’s Office and SBI have joined Wadesboro police to create a joint task force, specifically for this case.
“It is the resolve of the Wadesboro Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Anson County Sheriff’s Office to arrest any and all individuals involved with this murder,” Schutz told a group of TV reporters gathered at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Evangelisti was found murdered inside an abandoned residence on Klutz Street in Wadesboro on Feb. 14, not far from where the press conference was held. Schutz said the last contact Evangelisti’s family had with her was on Feb. 9, the previous Thursday. Evangelisti was not from Wadesboro, but had been in the area since November 2011.
Schutz declined to give any details about the crime or the crime scene, nor did she give any information on “persons of interest” who have been identified in the case. “I would hesitate to give any more details on the persons of interest because it is an ongoing investigation,” she said. “I would certainly like for this community to come together and help solve this case.”
In April, Schutz contacted the governor’s office and in May, received notification that Gov. Perdue had signed a proclamation offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information in this case. “What we are asking of this community is for them to also ‘do the right thing’,” she said. “It is our belief that someone here, in the immediate community may have information that will help us obtain the evidence needed to make an arrest in this case.”
Schutz said that she is confident that the task force will bring the perpetrator(s) to justice. “I feel very good about it,” she said. “My detectives share my optimism on this.”
“Any time that you’re dealing with a hideous criminal act, such as this murder was,” Schutz added, “there will be fear generated. But fear cannot be a stopping force in our community, but rather, we will use it as a driving force by our department to commit, to collaborate, and to always endeavor to do our part in keeping our communities and streets safe.”
Once the press conference concluded, Wadesboro police officers went house-to-house in the Salisbury Street community, distributing flyers on Evangelisti’s case and the subsequent reward.
Anyone with information regarding the case should contact the Wadesboro Police Department at 704-694-2167 or the SBI at 800-334-3000. All information will be kept confidential.
Schutz said that she also hopes to reopen the investigation into the 2009 murder of James Patrick Pickett of Morven. An individual had been charged but the charges were eventually dropped.
Schutz said she has talked to Pickett’s mother and really wants to bring the killer to justice.
The murder occurred just after Schutz started as police chief in Wadesboro. “Every other homicide on my watch, we’ve had charges filed,” she said.
Anyone with new information on the Pickett murder can also contact the Wadesboro Police Department at 704-694-2167. Again, all information will be kept confidential.