Demonstrators: Justice for Dustin Rhynes shooting death

CENTRALIA — The father of a 24-year-old Irvington man shot dead in August says he wants his son’s murder solved, and wants an end to the violence that has rocked the streets of Centralia in 2015.

Kevin Rhynes was joined Christmas Eve by dozens of demonstrators in front of the Centralia Police Department. The demonstration is a peaceful event, says Rhynes, with the group marching north on Poplar Street to Rexford and then east to Maulding.Their message: Justice for Dustin.

Dustin Rhynes was discovered deceased August 24, in a neighborhood alleyway in Centralia’s northeast side. Coroner’s reports indicate he died several hours prior to the discovery of his body due to injuries from a gunshot wound.

Kevin Rhynes says crime in Centralia is getting worse with shootings and shots fired. He’s asking for police to crack down on the situation and to further investigate his son’s death.

But Rhynes the situation demands more from not only law enforcement, but also from the community. He says it’s time to take back the streets of Centralia. He encourages anyone with information on crimes, including his son’s murder, to come forward and tell police what they know.

He notes that information can be given anonymously through Crimestoppers and that there is a cash reward that will soon be growing in relation to Dustin’s case. According to Rhynes, a group at the Murray Center has been raising funds to put toward that reward.

“Nothing is going to change if we don’t take back the streets,” says Rhynes. “It doesn’t matter what color you are, or where you live, things are getting worse and they won’t get better if we don’t take back the streets.”

Dustin Rhynes was the second person shot to death this year in Centralia. On the evening of February 16, Michael Keith Tolliver was was shot multiple times as he opened the door of his home on the north side of town to an unknown person or persons.

Crimestoppers is also offering a reward in relation to the Tolliver case, but it too is unsolved at this time.