Reward raised for Little homicide information

RIPLEY – The mother of Tippah County’s most recent homicide victim is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person or persons responsible. Anyone with information about the fatal shooting of Brian Little, who was then 30, at his home in late January of this year is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Northeast Mississippi, at 1-800-773-TIPS, or the Tippah County Sheriff’s Department at 837-9336. Those who call Crime Stoppers aren’t asked their names, and no caller ID is used. The group’s website is www.crimestoppersNEMS.com A billboard offering a reward for information was to be erected Saturday, Aug. 15 near the McDonald’s Restaurant on Miss. 15 in Ripley. Several benefits and fundraisers have raised money which will pay for the billboard and help for the reward. An account has been set up at a local bank for the money, Brian’s mother, Cindy Hunley, of Fostoria, Mich., said by phone Thursday morning. “We were there in Ripley for two weeks doing the fund- raisers. We’re also trying to set up a benefit dinner this October at the VFW Post in Ripley,” Mrs. Hunley said “The original Crime Stoppers reward was $1,000. We weren’t getting any information, so we took it upon ourselves to increase the reward. Money can work miracles in terms of getting people to talk. The money won’t bring Brian back, but it will be worth it to us if it gets someone to give us some information,” Mrs. Hunley said. Little was shot to death at his County Road 512 residence Monday, Jan. 26. Deputies found his body inside his mobile home. Witnesses reported two white males fleeing Little’s mobile home in a 2007 silver Nissan. The car was found abandoned about eight miles away. The car was owned by a female acquaintance of Little’s, Investigators say Little and the woman came back to the mobile home earlier that night. Two masked suspects in the home then tied up the woman in a bedroom. Witnesses heard two gunshots, and then the two men left the scene in the Nissan. No arrests have been made in the case. Many people in this area remember Brian. As a result, “A lot of people in Ripley have helped us with the fundraisers, which have included bake sales and yard sales. There are also change jugs placed in several area stores. We appreciate it. We don’t want Brian to be forgotten. “We’re especially appreciative to Debbie Clemmer, whose son Rodney was friends with my son when he lived in the Ripley area. She’s done a great deal to help out – including letting us hold a yard sale in front of her place of business at Mid-South Medical.” Mrs. Hunley remembers her son as “a caring person, polite, happy and loving. He enjoyed the outdoors.” Born in Michigan six weeks prematurely, he had surgery when he was 13 weeks old to repair a hole in his heart. After his parents split up some years later, at age 15 he moved to the Ripley area with his father. As a teenager, he attended Ripley High School but didn’t graduate. While here, he met Debbie Clemmer’s son, and Debbie served as a mentor to Brian, Mrs. Hunley recalled. “Her son and my son were best friends for a long time. I call Debbie my angel, because she took Brian under her wing and served as a second mother to him while he was in Ripley and I was in Michigan,” she said. Her son later returned to Michigan, and worked there until his job played out. He then returned to Ripley, where the Clemmers helped him out, giving him a place to live and a vehicle to drive until he got a place of his own. He worked odd jobs here with several friends until his death. Although Brian was laid to rest in Columbiaville, Mich., the family and friends he left behind remain stunned by the unsolved murder, Mrs. Hunley said. “We feel a sense of numbness. You’re in limbo. It’s hard to believe this really happened, and harder yet to believe that no one knows anything. Someone’s walking around that committed this crime. Regardless of the reason behind it, someone is accountable. God’s the only one that has the right to give or take a life.” She has her theories as to why her son was shot to death, but she declined to discuss them. “It’s all speculation at this point. We don’t really know. There are a lot of rumors going around, but we just have to put our faith and trust in God that he will lead us to a clue or piece of evidence needed to get the person or persons responsible.” Those wishing to donate to a fundraiser may contact Mrs. Hunley or Debbie Clemmer.

Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel