Fudenjüce offers $500 reward for information in killing
Shaken by the violent murder of their frequent customer Mary Spratt, owners of a Nevada City restaurant Fudenjüce are offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the 75-year-old woman’s killer(s).
“She was a really sweet lady,” said restaurant co-owner Robert Richards. He remembers “little Mary” as a frail lady with a pet poodle who was quite particular about the juice smoothies she bought about twice every week. Owners considered Spratt part of their extended family, he said.
“I think about my mom,” Richards said. “She just turned 75 and she lives alone. If anything were to happen to her, I don’t even want to think about it. I’d just be devastated.”
Spratt was found strangled to death May 4 in her downstairs Grass Valley apartment on West Empire Street. She was found by a neighbor who noticed her back door was ajar.
Grass Valley police investigators said Spratt’s purse was missing from the murder scene. They have not made any arrests.
Spratt’s neighbors surmise Spratt was robbed for her prescription drugs.
“It’s horrible,” Richards said.
Spratt had been going to the Fudenjüce for more than four years before her death. She’s been a regular customer as long as the current owners – Richards, Dave Hansen and Charles Stuthard – can remember.
Spratt would go into the restaurant’s work area and oversee employees as they made her drink, Richards said. Owners gave Spratt a discount because she had a limited income. They always put her smoothie in a paper cup because it was easier for her to hold with her small, arthritic hands.
The restaurant owners are also inviting other businesses and individuals to join in the effort to track down Spratt’s killer by contributing and increasing the reward.
“It’s best that people watch out for the people around them,” Richards said.
Police say they welcome the reward offer.
“Two detectives are working on the case full-time,” Grass Valley Police Sgt. Doug Hren said Tuesday. “We’re open to any and all information that may assist us in solving this crime.”
Anyone with information about Spratt’s murder is asked to call Sgt. Doug Hren at the Grass Valley Police Department, 477-4600.
Anyone who wished to contribute to the reward can call Fudenjüce at 265-5282 between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@the union.com or call 477-4236.
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