You may notice some new billboards this week if you take the interstate through Downtown New Orleans. The billboards advertise a hefty reward to solve the murder of a Bywater woman.
“It's heartbreak. It’s heartbreak,” said Lee Horvitz, the former fiancé of Jessica Hawk.
Horvitz gets emotional staring at the first billboard that went up this week.
“This big old board is a search for, I'm going to cry here, I am crying, for a needle in a haystack,” Horvitz said.
Jessica Hawk was murdered nearly three years ago. She was found dead in her Bywater home. The botanist who moved to New Orleans from Ohio, made many friends, and the community raised lots of money for the $25,000 reward. Now another friend of the family from Ohio, Eddie Carlo pitched in more for the billboards.
The first went up along the Pontchartain Expressway for motorists to see heading east through Downtown, the other along I-10 at the Claiborne overpass by the Superdome.
At Harold's Plants in Bywater, coworkers of Hawk, like Jerry Geiger, are elated the billboards are up.
“I just pray that with these signs being up, these billboards being up, that it just opens something up to help close the case,” Geiger said.
Those closest to Jessica Hawk say these billboards give the case more visibility and they also say the time couldn't have been more perfect.
“The timing on that was excellent. The Jazz Fest brings out tens of thousands of people, so with that maybe someone will see something, or know something,” Geiger said.
It's been frustrating for friends and family. They want closure and justice for Jessica. Their wish is the billboards lure in that one important tip.
The reward is up to $25,000. For information that leads to Jessica's killer, if you know anything, call Crimestoppers at 822-1111.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times