An anonymous donor has offered a reward of $30,000 in the homicide investigation of Joel Marino, a 31-year-old Madison man who was found with multiple stab wounds outside his house on West Shore Drive early Monday afternoon and taken to University Hospital where he died shortly thereafter. Police are seeking to speak with a person of interest seen in the vicinity of the crime on the near south side, along with any other information witnesses may have seen in the near south side neighborhood between St. Mary's Hospital and Monona Bay.
"While we are reaching out to all residents, I wanted to make sure the public is aware that Joel's house (as most of you know is on Monona Bay," said Madison police department spokesman Joel DeSpain in a statement sent to Madison media on Thursday morning. "Monday was a relatively nice day -- at least in terms of this winter we have been embracing -- and many joggers, walkers, and ice fishers were likely in and around the area. We would like to have those people think about anything they might have seen that could be of interest to the detective team."
While police have nothing new to release today regarding the investigation, several articles relating to the case have been recovered. A white stocking cap with a motion "W" and a gray "Puma" backpack -- each identified as being worn by the person of interest by a witness on Monday -- have been recovered, along with a bloody knife inside Marino's home. As noted in a report from the Cap Times, forensic investigations continue on these and other items found inside and outisde the house, as well as in Marino's vehicle.
The reward that was announced this morning offers $30,000 for "information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of Joel Marino." The reward for information has been set up through the McFarland State Bank, and friends of Marino plan to distribute the poster bearing his image throughout downtown Madison in coming days.
"I can tell you that we are continuing to get a good number of calls to Crime Stoppers, and the reward fund will likely generate even more tips," noted DeSpain. Persons looking to share information about this or other crimes can call Crime Stoppers at 266-6104, and can also give tips online.
Residents of the near south side neighborhood around Park Street gathered at a community meeting at. St. Mary's on Wednesday night to discuss safety precautions with police and Madison Common Council District 13 Ald. Julia Kerr. More information about the discussions there are related in another article in the Cap Times. More details about the ongoing investigation can be found in an incident report from the MPD.
"Joel was quite possibly the greatest guy ever," declared Marino's family in his obituary published today. "We take comfort in knowing that his mother has guided him home and that he is now reunited with her in heaven."