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BRPD says tipster calls are up, but since last year nearly 150 murders remain unsolved

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BATON ROUGE - On Monday, Ryan Priest's family celebrated his birthday, nearly eight months since his murder.

Brandy Pascley says she knows who killed her brother in a triple shooting back in April. 

Because the family says they haven't heard much from Baton Rouge Police, she says she's had to do her own research online, thousands of miles away in Ohio.

"I've never seen anything like that. Where we live that's not heard of. It's not. And then to know who did it and know you have somebody that's saying that they did it and still there's nothing being done?" she said.

Jonathan Thomas and his mother Wanda Jackson are in a similar situation with their loved one, but they have no idea who killed Justin Henry more than a year ago. 

"They're still waiting on DNA. They say the state crime lab is backed up. They are still waiting on DNA off my son's body for over a year," Jackson said.

With the crime lab backup not unclogging anytime soon, both cases need a solid witness to come forward for prosecution.

According to Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul, in general, people have been speaking up more.

"Yes, we are seeing more calls coming in. Yes, we are seeing more cooperating. Yes, the people in Baton Rouge are starting not to believe the lie called 'stop snitching'," Paul said.

However, the key issue is most of those callers aren't willing to testify in court, making convictions nearly impossible.

"I just know that with the amount of homicides that Baton Rouge has and the amount of people afraid to talk and speak, it's really going to be up to us to try and keep his name out there and hopefully somebody says something," Thomas said.

Thomas plans on offering a reward from his own pocket to help get information on his brother's murder soon. Both families know BRPD won't be able to do it themselves.

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