The reward for information leading to a missing 24-year-old Oakley woman has jumped by another $40,000 – to $100,000 – after the Oakley City Council agreed Tuesday to increase its support and make the incentive program a perpetual one.
Oakley initially agreed to a $10,000 reward for information leading to finding Alexis Gabe, a longtime Oakley resident who went missing on Jan. 26, after her parents she made a plea at council meeting on April 12. An anonymous donor later contributed $ 50,000 to the reward.
“We hope these additional reward funds will lead us to Ms. Gabe’s whereabouts,” Police Chief Paul Beard said in a statement following Tuesday’s council meeting. “The Alexis Gabe case continues to consume the Oakley Police Department. Our team is working day and night to bring a resolution to her family.”
Oakley police have said that they believe Gabe did not disappear by accident or choice. The recent nursing school graduate had visited her ex-boyfriend her in Antioch the night she went missing and police have searched his home twice, but not named him as a suspect. Her car her was found the next day in Oakley, about a mile from her home her.
In introducing th measure, Felicia Esover, assistant to the city manager, explained the city could incorporate the reward fund program into its municipal code, pass it as a resolution or work with a Crime Stoppers affiliate program though there is none locally. If approved, the city would work with police to establish the program parameters, such as the timeframe and means of distribution.
Escover also noted that the city has already received more than 40 tips since the initial $10,000 reward was announced.
The council agreed that some kind of reward program was warranted but disagreed on the amount.
“I hope this reward fund is wildly successful,” Councilwoman Anissa Williams said, suggesting the money roll over if no tip leads to Gabe’s discovery.
Esover said the funds could be rolled over to the next fiscal year but the details could be worked out later.
George Fuller, a former policeman, was in support of an increase but suggested the city might not have to use the whole $50,000 depending on the tip.
Councilwoman Sue Higgins also supported a $50,000 reward on top of the $10,000 already in the fund. She also suggested a scholarship in Gabe’s name.
“Ten thousand dollars, that’s not much,” she said. “I wish to see us give 50 on top of the 10 to try to get us to the end of this and find some answers.”
Vice Mayor Aaron Meadows moved to formally approve only the $10,000 reward from the city, but the motion died.
Mayor Randy Pope also agreed that the amount should be increased to $50,000 but said he wanted that to be a perpetual fund that could be used in the future for any other high-profile cases.
“If it’s not used, it stays in the fund, and hopefully we never have to use it ever again,” he said. “… “And I agree that the discretion on the amount should be called with the investigation team as they see the benefit of whatever information they’re receiving.”
The motion to approve the resolution passed 4-to-1 with Meadows voting against.
Following the meeting, Escover said in a statement that the reward funds will be distributed based on the information provided to investigators.
“Up to $100,000 will be awarded for direct information leading to Alexis Gabe’s whereabouts,” she said. “Lesser amounts may be provided for other tips beneficial to the investigation.”
Those with information as to the whereabouts of Alexis Gabe are asked to call 925-625-7009 or Alexistips@ci.oakley.ca.us. #