Reno, Nev. (October 2023) – The Retired Investigators Guild (the RIG) and the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), today jointly announced the establishment of a perpetual scholarship, sponsored by the RIG, in the name of Markisha Hibbler, who was the victim of a brutal homicide in 2015. The RIG leadership team and its partners will be hosting a special dinner in honor of Markisha and the scholarship on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Reno, Nevada. A presentation will follow with a special announcement from the RIG and UNR.
Markisha was the first person in her family to attend college and was working toward her nursing degree at UNR when she was murdered in the early morning hours of Sept. 19, 2015. The case was originally classified as an accident until it was assigned to Detective Mike Marty, then the lead homicide investigator for the Nevada State Police. Marty’s expertise and diligence revealed the true cause of death and led to the capture and incarceration of Markisha’s killer.
Today, Mike Marty is the co-founder and CEO of the RIG. “Our organization is comprised of the very best of the best retired and former homicide, cold case, and major crimes investigators from throughout the United States and Canada. We volunteer our time and specialized skills to help law enforcement agencies whose investigative resources have been hollowed out by the Defund movement,” he said.
The RIG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Reno that has national reach.
“Fewer than 10 percent of our country’s law enforcement agencies can afford to staff a cold case unit. That’s why there are more than 300,000 unsolved murders sitting on the shelves of police departments across the nation,” Marty said. “And the majority of those cases involve victims from traditionally underserved and under-represented communities. The RIG is committed to helping bring closure for families of victims of violent crime who for far too long have felt they had no voice in our criminal justice system.”
According to Marty, more than fifty percent of the cases the RIG agrees to work involve victims from traditionally underserved and under-represented communities. “Our mission is to restore America’s faith in law enforcement and to continue the tireless pursuit of criminals in the interest of victims of violent crime,” he said. “We recognize the disastrous impact of the Defund movement on the ability of our nation’s law enforcement agencies to attract and retain top talent and that is one reason we are proud to sponsor a scholarship in Markisha’s name at UNR. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help grow the next generation of public safety professionals.”
Donna Knotek, Executive Director of Development at UNR, and University President Brian Sandoval were instrumental in establishing the perpetual scholarship in Markisha’s name.
Media are invited to attend and cover the special presentation at 7:30 p.m. PST at the Bricks Restaurant in Reno, NV. Please contact Mike Marty at 1.833.RIG.LINE to set up an interview or to confirm attendance to cover the presentation.
Donations for the RIG’s work can be made by visiting the Retired Investigators Guild - Pledge page. Donations help fund the RIG’s programs. The organization is currently working hard to create strategic partnerships, staff key positions, build infrastructure, and get off the ground. Donations will go directly to funding this endeavor.
Additional information on the RIG can be found at www.therig.org.
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