LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Metro police are ramping up their search for Krystal Whipple, the woman accused of killing a nail salon owner over an unpaid bill on Dec. 29.
“Our investigators have worked through the entire week without days off trying to locate her ,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police homicide Lt. Ray Spencer said. “You have a $35 petty larceny that turned into a homicide investigation.”
Police have followed up on every tip they’ve received, Spencer said, but so far, no sign of Whipple.
“We’ve checked all the addresses here locally that she’s associated with and with any friends that she’s had or associates prior,” Spencer said.
In the surveillance video, investigators said Whipple walked out of Crystal Nails in the west valley after claiming she would return to pay her $35 bill.
Instead, she got into a stolen rental car. That’s when Nhu “Annie” Nguyen and her partner ran out, chasing her.
Investigators said video clearly shows Whipple hit Nguyen then dragged her 50 feet.
“The car was rented using a fraudulent name,” Spencer said. “There was fraudulent identification that we found in the vehicle, so those have delayed the investigation because we had to make sure all those other people were not involved. That’s why we’re confident we’re looking for the right person at this point.”
It took police five days to release Whipple’s identification.
“That didn’t come until we got a fingerprint inside the vehicle,” Spencer added.
Since then, they’ve followed up on several tips. They believe she has seen the story online.
“Those leads have proved that she is at least aware that we are looking for her,” he said.
Investigators added it is a possibility Whipple left the state. They are working with her mother who lives in Utah.
“She is cooperating and is also going to reach out through the media to plead that her daughter turns herself in to investigators,” Spencer said.
Police are urging anyone else with information to come forward.
“Usually it can be the smallest tip that puts the puzzle together,” Spencer said. “My message to Krystal would be to turn yourself in. We have a lot of resources out there. There’s no question we’re going to find her.”
Donations continue to pour in for Nguyen’s family. To date, more than 900 people have donated, raising more than $32,000.
All of the money will go toward Nguyen’s funeral expenses and to support the family. On the page, the family thanked those who donated for their generosity. They added Nguyen is an organ donor so her gifts will help others in need.