OGDEN — New tips about the death of a man killed in a 2017 Ogden drive-by shooting have been received since the Cold Case Coalition recently offered a $5,000 reward.
"We have had tips and we are looking for more," Karra Porter, a co-founder of the Utah-based coalition, said Monday.
Brian Housley was shot in the head in the early morning hours of Nov. 27, 2017, in the 900 block of 16th Street in Ogden, police said. He died three days later.
On its website, the coalition said the group has received tips pointing to people in Ogden who know what happened to Housley, why and how it happened, and who was involved.
Porter said Housley's mother, Darcie, appealed to the coalition for help solving the case, and the group later decided to offer a reward.
"One of the things we try to do as the Cold Case Coalition is to prevent cases from going cold, and sometimes we believe there is reason to think that to intervene or offer a reward might help with the case," Porter said.
The state's cold case database mandates that police departments must post unsolved homicides after three years.
Housley's case is already in the database, about 2 1/2 years after the crime, because departments have the option to post them before the mandated three years.
Porter is a 33-year veteran attorney. The coalition's other co-founders are licensed private investigator Jason Jensen and retired Salt Lake Tribune journalist Tom Harvey.
She said the coalition follows up on tips and screens them before packaging them up for the investigating police agency.
For example, she said a woman said she knew her ex-husband killed three people, but the coalition determined the man was in prison at the time.
"We felt like we saved the police some time" not having to check out a bad tip, Porter said.
"We ultimately want to communicate reliable information," she said.
Some people who might not have tipped police contact the coalition instead, for various reasons.
Those include that the tipster does not want to talk to police; the tipster is afraid they will be in trouble for not reporting what they knew earlier; or they're just embarrassed for not speaking up before.
Anonymous tips are accepted. To give a tip about a cold case, call 385-CLUE-313 (385-258-3313).
The coalition also has a state-of-the-art forensics lab to aid in its investigations, Porter said.
"Some of the things we test are possessions that families have that they think may have relevance to a murder disappearance," she said.
Maybe the police didn't agree or couldn't afford to do the testing. Items might include keys a killer touched, items a killer may have worn, a cup they drank out of or a cigarette butt, Porter said.
The coalition said DNA testing on cold cases may lead to crimes being solved.
"There is a huge need for this," she said.
The group started as the Utah Cold Case Coalition but has dropped the state from its name because it has been receiving so many requests for help from elsewhere, Porter said.
The coalition is the only nonprofit of its type in the country, she said.