Reward money nearly $25,000 for McCloud

Published 3:11 pm Monday, March 7, 2016

In less than 48 hours, nearly $15,000 has been raised to accompany the existing $10,000 reward for information leading the Rafael McCloud’s arrest.

The money, totaling $14,143, has been raised through contributions from 146 people as of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Donations have ranged from $5 to a few $1,000 donations.

Donations are being collected in memory of Sharen Wilson. McCloud was indicted for her June 2015 murder and other charges.

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GoFundMe, a popular online fundraising platform, is being used to collect donations. The Seeking Justice for Sharen Wilson account has been shared more than 1,100 times on Facebook and Twitter.

“We are the community, family, and friends of Sharen Ulrich Wilson,” according to the website. “Sharen was stalked, kidnapped, and brutally murdered on June 28, 2015. We come together now to support the efforts being made by law enforcement to capture the man who is charged with this heinous crime, Rafael McCloud. McCloud escaped from a jail in Vicksburg, Mississippi last week. As of March 6, 2016 he is still at large and possibly still in the Vicksburg community.”

The goal of the fundraiser is to get McCloud back behind bars, but in the event there is no payout, money raised will be donated to an affiliated cause.

“In the event that Crimestoppers does not pay out a reward, any funds raised will be donated to charity,” according to the website. “We are searching for charities helping victims of violent crimes and their families. We will publish this information as soon as it is available.”

Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong confirmed the legitimacy of the website, adding he’s been in touch with one of Wilson’s daughters.

“It’s going to take four to seven days for the money to be able to transfer out of the GoFundMe,” he said. “In the meantime, there’s a friend of the family who’s going to front $5,000.”

Armstrong said he expects in the next several days to receive the money and deliver it to Crimestoppers in Rankin County.

Crimestoppers is offering $2,500 for information on McCloud.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted Friday to add $5,000 to the amount. Monday morning, the Warren County Board of Supervisors voted to add an additional $2,500 to the reward, bringing the total to $10,000.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said previously it was time for the city to take action in helping incentivize Rafael’s capture.

“I just think we have to do everything we can to make sure our community is safe, and $5,000 is just a drop in the bucket in a $30 million budget,” Flaggs said. “We’re ready to do whatever we have to do to provide the resources to this community and to the law enforcement officers to make sure we can capture him.”

For more information or to donate to the cause, visit


John Surratt also contributed to this report.