AURORA, Colo. -- Friends of a good Samaritan killed outside his Aurora home last month are hoping money talks.
Reward money to catch Kelly Acosta’s killer has skyrocketed to $27,000.
Metro Denver Crime Stoppers kicked in it usual $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.
But people at the 29-year-old’s favorite lounge in Aurora wanted to do better.
A memorial inside the little restaurant and bar along South Parker Road shows how much how Acosta was a part of this place and its people.
“No one ever said they were Kelly’s friend. Everybody said they were Kelly’s best friend. No one ever said they liked Kelly. They said the loved Kelly. So he just brought you into his life and treated you like you were No. 1," a friend said.
Now, they want to return the love after someone shot him outside his apartment 2 1/2 weeks ago while he tried to stop a man from beating up a woman. It happened in the 4000 block of South Crystal Circle.
“He ran into the middle to help and within a few minutes was losing his life at the hands of this man we are desperately hoping to find,” friend Anne Clifford said.
So they put their money where their mouth is.
Customers of Acosta’s favorite hangout raised $15,000 in hopes money is the currency to loosen the lips of witnesses.
“At the benefit we had for him last weekend, I have never seen that many people at an establishment for one person,” Acosta’s friend Nick said.
The Aurora Police Department has contributed $5,000, along with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The grand total of the reward is now at $27,000.
“Twenty-seven thousand dollars is a game-changer for lot of people and I’m hoping maybe conversations will occur that have not happened already, and someone comes forth with something and brings justice for our Kelly,” Clifford said.
It’s cold, hard cash they hope leads to a cold, hard prison cell for Acosta’s killer -- dollars that show their devotion to a dearly departed friend and hopefully buys the cooperation of someone who knows something.
“It’s just very sad. We miss him very much,” Nick said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 303-739-6113 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.