Authorities have upped the ante for the capture of Michael Jason Registe.
Columbus police and the FBI announced Wednesday that the reward for leading authorities to Registe is being increased from $5,000 to $20,000. Wanted for the July 20 deaths of Randy Newton Jr., 21, and Bryan Kilgore, 20, the 25-year-old Registe is believed to have fled the country after the shootings in the parking lot of Cross Creek Apartments.
"It has been 11 months and five days," said Kilgore's father, Guy Kilgore, after the announcement. "I have not had one hour in that time that I have not thought about that loss."
FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Donnie Green said his office is convinced people know Registe's location but won't talk. He believes Registe may have even returned to Columbus.
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Police Chief Ricky Boren said people have called about Registe sightings in the past month. Officers found the person who spurred the calls, but it wasn't Registe.
The fugitive was initially thought to have run to the U.S. Virgin Islands and then to the Caribbean Island of Dominica. Boren said Wednesday authorities didn't know his whereabouts.
Interpol released a "red notice" on Registe May 19. The notice gives authorities in other countries another avenue to search for information.
Guy Kilgore thanked the FBI for increasing the reward, saying he hopes it will lead to Registe's capture and give the slain men's families closure.
"This is not about revenge," he said. "There is nothing that can be done to return my son, Bryan Kilgore, or Randy Newton. It is our hope that Mr. Registe's capture will prevent another family from experiencing the pain, suffering and sorrow that Mr. Registe has inflicted upon these two families."
Kilgore had been an All Bi-City pitcher for Hardaway High School's baseball team and was a pitcher for Columbus State University. Newton, also a Hardaway athlete, had planned to enroll at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C.
"He was 20 years old," Guy Kilgore said of his son. "He enjoyed baseball. That was his life."