MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – Murfreesboro resident Austin Williams will forever be grateful for stranger James Stinson. He’s the owner of the Evansville car wash and the man who spotted the pickup dumped by Alabama fugitive Casey White.
“We just appreciate him so much and him having the sharp eyes to spot Casey,” Williams says.
Williams started a GoFundMe to raise money for Stinson’s efforts because the discovery was personal to him as White confessed to killing Williams’ mother, Connie Ridgeway. The trial is set to begin in June, and the family feared with White on the run, they’d never have closure.
“It’s good to have that chance because we thought it was gone just a week ago,” Williams explained. “We’re like, ‘Well, this is not going to end well.’ And, you know, we found out that it wasn’t planned to end well. So we were very, very fortunate.”
The business owner went above and beyond, Williams said. Stinson didn’t just tow the truck. He did a little digging on his own and called the police with the tip.
“I was really nervous because with a Tennessee plate, and I’d already heard that the SUV was abandoned in Tennessee,” Stinson said. “I kind of slowly walked up to the truck and glanced, thinking somebody could be in it.”
The truck wasn’t reported stolen, so police couldn’t do much, but Stinson didn’t give up. He reviewed security footage and spotted White.
“You could see him acting suspiciously,” Stinson explained. “I said, ‘There’s got to be something to this.'”
His persistence paid off. Law enforcement offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to White and correctional officer Vicky White’s whereabouts and capture.
“I’m not so much concerned about the money,” Stinson said. “I’m just glad nobody else got hurt.”
While there’s been no official word that Stinson will receive the reward, Williams says no money in the world is enough to thank the man who turned the entire hunt around. That is why the family started the fundraiser to ensure Stinson received recognition.
“From what we’ve seen in his conversations, he just seems like a genuine person who’s out to do good,” Williams said. “So we feel like it’s the right thing to do.”
Williams plans to deliver the money in person.