WENATCHEE, Wash. -- A man who wrote a letter to a police task force investigating the murder of a Wenatchee beauty school student has been awarded a $29,500 reward for aiding police with the case.

Theodore A. Theo Keyes wrote a letter in August 2010, encouraging police to investigate Christopher Scott Wilson for the death of 17-year-old Wenatchee High School senior Mackenzie Cowell. Cowell went missing in February 2010 and was found dead four days later on the shoreline of the Columbia River.

The Wenatchee World reported Wednesday that authorities handed Keyes a cashier's check for $29,500 on Tuesday.

Police were running short of leads before Keyes' letter pointed them to Wilson, who pleaded guilty last May to manslaughter and robbery in Cowell's death.

Background: Wash. man accused of killing classmate on trial

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