The family of Brittany Zimmermann announced Thursday they have established a $5,000 reward fund to help further the investigation of the University of Wisconsin student’s homicide.
“We are here today to remind all of you to please remember her as much as we still are,” said Kim Heeg, Zimmermann’s aunt. “It’s been five months, and it feels like we are at a bit of a dead end.”
Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said investigators believe Zimmermann walked from the University of Wisconsin campus to her home on West Doty Street some time in the late morning of April 2, the day she was murdered in her apartment.
Throughout the investigation, several hundred people have been interviewed and more than 2,600 pages on the case have been filed, Wray said.
“We firmly believe there are people in this community who have info that could crack this case,” Wray said.
Wray said investigators are asking people to think back to the day of Zimmermann’s murder and try to remember any unusual activity they may have seen, especially in the Doty Street neighborhood.
Zimmermann’s homicide helped to trigger new safety initiatives on the UW campus, including the new safety website, safeu.wisc.edu.
“Our campus hasn’t forgotten Brittany,” UW Dean of Students Lori Berquam said. “We have turned our grief into action.”
Berquam said she walked up and down Doty Street on Aug. 15, the day most students living off campus move into new apartments, to talk to them about safety and what it means to live in a community.
Both UW students and their parents have been especially concerned with safety in Madison since this crime occurred, Berquam said.
Zimmermann was majoring in medical microbiology and immunology and planned to go to medical school to become a doctor.
Berquam said UW officials were able to hold a small ceremony earlier this summer with Brittany’s family and friends to posthumously award her degree.
Heeg said Zimmermann was an amazing girl whose smile anyone who met her couldn’t forget.
“Brittany had a huge commitment to her family and to her community,” Heeg said. “We are here again to ask some support of this community.”
Madison Police Capt. Mary Schauf said announcing the reward fund will hopefully bring more tips and leads to the case, adding information continues to come in but not at the same rate it used to.
Anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible should call CrimeStoppers at 608-266-6014.
“The days since Brittney’s death have been very dark, and we are desperate at this point to find some justice for her,” Heeg said.
Despite Heeg’s use of the word “desperate,” Schauf said police are determined and dedicated to bringing closure to this case.
Donors can contribute to the reward fund by sending money to the Marshfield Medical Center Credit Union, 302 W. Upham St., Marshfield, WI 54449.