Company adds to reward in stabbing investigation

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Steve Mertens opened his business, Factory 233, and couldn’t believe one of the first calls he received, Tuesday morning.

“I really thought one of my friends was messing with me,” he said.

But it was no practical joke. Detectives told him a suspect, wearing his company’s logo on a t-shirt, is wanted by police for a stabbing.

“My heart kind of sank, and it just blew me away,” Mertens said.

Surveillance video shows a suspect running up to the victim near 17th and Rock on Monday afternoon. He was seen wearing a t-shirt with Factory 233’s logo on it.

But Mertens doesn’t know him or how he got the shirt. He said through his business, there are hundreds if not thousands of them out in the public. But this was publicity he didn’t want.

“It is unsettling. I have been, couldn’t sleep, thinking about this. It’s unsettling and very unnerving,” Mertens said.

Wichita Police said they still don’t have a lot of leads in the case. Investigators are asking for neighbors to look through surveillance camera footage again to see if there’s anything helpful.

“Call if you have information,” said Officer Paul Cruz. “Even if it’s minimal information, any information’s going to help at this point.”

Mertens couldn’t tell police much but wants to contribute anyway. He’s donating $1,000 to Crime Stoppers to help.

“It’s minimal comparing to what is going on in that lady’s life,” Mertens said.

If you have information you can call Wichita police or Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111.

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