Milwaukee police ask public for help in solving January 2017 homicide

Posted at 1:37 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 17:12:01-04

The Milwaukee Police Department is issuing a renewed plea for the public's help in solving a January 2017 homicide on the city's South Side.

Karen Simek, 53, was shot and killed about 5:40 a.m. on January 31 near 12th and National. Authorities believe she was killed during the course of a robbery.

"As of now, we do not believe Ms. Simek was specifically targeted," said Lt. Eric Donaldson.

MPD previously released an image of a potential suspect in the case and details about a bag that officers believe the killer stole from Simek.

Detective Nathan Butz said the suspect is a light-skinned, African-American male between 22 and 27 years old. Butz added he's about 5'-6" tall and weighs around 140 pounds.

He said the suspect is seen on surveillance video walking from 17th and National to 12th and National, before loitering in the area for roughly 10 minutes before the shooting.

"All we need now is a name to go with the face," Butz said. "We take all tips seriously."

Donaldson said MPD investigators have made contact with several people who observed the suspect in the area. But he said others are still out there, and hopes they too will come forward.

"There was a surprising amount of pedestrian traffic at that time of the morning that day," Donaldson said.

"Unfortunately, in the minute or two leading up to the shooting, it goes from a very busy intersection to a ghost town," he said. "It's our belief the suspect just saw an opportunity and he took it."

Anyone with information on the case should call MPD at 414-935-7020.