BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky State Police and the Nelson County Sheriff's Office made a new appeal on Tuesday for answers in the unsolved murder of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis.
"Someone in our community, Nelson County, Bardstown, maybe a surrounding community just outside the county line, someone in this area has information that can help solve this investigation. We're confident of that," said KSP Lt. Jeremy Thompson.
Early on the morning of May 25, 2013, Ellis was on his way home after finishing his shift. After exiting the Bluegrass Parkway at exit 34, Ellis stopped the patrol car he was driving to remove some branches on the ramp. That's when he was ambushed by someone armed with a gun. Police suspect the debris had been put on the roadway deliberately so Ellis would stop.
"I'd love to be able to tell you definitively that we know Jason Ellis was the target," said Thompson, but he added that no one knows for certain.
"Logistically... they knew a lot," said Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin. "A lucky shot, a lucky set up, a lucky whatever... no, it was definitely logistically well-planned."
Thompson reminded the public of the $185,000 that has been pledged locally for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Ellis' death.
"It will make our community safer if we're able to make an arrest or multiple arrests in this case," Thompson said. "I know that someone has that information, and they're probably scared because it's a family member, it's a friend... they're scared that if they turn them in, their lives could be in danger. We can protect people for that. With the money that's offered, $185,000, I don't know many people that can't relocate with that, if they chose to do so."
Thompson said about 30 law enforcement officers are involved in this case with one primary detective devoted almost exclusively to solving Ellis' murder.
"We've investigated anything from somebody up here [behind him at the podium] has done it, a trooper, city officer, deputy, been an inside job, to a family member has done it, to community leaders have," said Thompson. "Folks, the rumors have gone rampant."
Police have interviewed countless people and combed through cases Ellis was working on. They've even been to various correctional facilities to talk with imates who they believe may have information. They've ruled out a lot of things, but they still need the public's help.
Thompson also said that police communicate with Ellis' family weekly, sometimes daily. Ellis left behind his wife Amy and two young sons.
"We know that there is a widow and two children out there that we have an obligation to solve this case for," said Thompson. "Please come forward with the information that will help us solve this murder investigation. It's the right thing. We need your help. Without your help, this investigation will continue to do what it has done for the last 19 months: we'll take a lead, we'll work it 'til it ends. If that's not the right one, then we'll move on to the next one. That's the only thing we can do at this point. But our resolve will not end. We will continue to work this until someone is arrested, and ultimately charged, and hopefully convicted of the murder of Jason Ellis."
The FBI is also assisting with the investigation.
Anyone with information about the Ellis case should contact authorities at the following:
- Kentucky State Police, Post 4: 270-766-5078
- Kentucky State Police Tip Line: 800-222-5555
- FBI Louisville office: 502-263-6000, ext. 2
- KSP email address: EllisCaseETips@ky.gov