Police hope $5k reward leads to information in French Lick murder

Updated: Jul. 6, 2017 at 7:08 PM EDT
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FRENCH LICK, IN (WAVE) –  It's been six months since a man was discovered dead in his own home. Indiana State Police say since then they've had no credible leads, but they are now hoping a $5000 reward will help get answers in this case.

Investigators believe the killer was let inside James Bryson's home the day he was killed. There were no obvious signs of forced entry, so they think it was someone he knew.

"The last time family or anybody around had seen him or heard from him was December 24th," Indiana State Police Sgt. Philip Hensley said.

>>> WATCH: Katie's report here

Bryson, 66, lived off of County Road 50 in French Lick. Neighbors said he cared for his older sister, but she was away visiting family for Christmas at the time of the crime. A welfare check led police to his home on December 27th and that's when they found him dead inside.

"It makes us anxious because it did happen in our backyard," neighbor Christina Ratliff Brown said.

Brown has taken her safety in her own hands.

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"We put up security cameras all around our property," she said.  "We started a neighborhood watch with all of our neighbors so we can keep track of everything that is happening."

Bryson was known to walk his dogs and did not have a criminal history.

"He was a very friendly fellow," Brown said. "I'm sure his family really needs some answers."

Indiana State Police have chosen not to release how he was killed.

"If somebody calls and says I know how he died and it matches what we have, we will know that is a hot tip, we will know it is a good lead and it will give us something solid to pursue," Hensley said.

An anonymous donor gave state police $5000 to offer for any tip that leads to an arrest.

"There's somebody that knows something," Brown said. "It's a small town. I believe that $5000 could be a good initiative for somebody to come forward."

Anyone with information that could help investigators you are urged to call Indiana State Police at the Jasper Post at 812-482-1441.

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