$100,000 reward for info that leads to conviction of person responsible for HSU student’s murder, there’s a catch


ARCATA, Calif. (KIEM)- Thursday will mark the 4-year-anniversary of David Josiah Lawson’s death – the Humboldt State University student who was fatally stabbed in Arcata.

On April 15th- 2017 19-year-old David Josiah Lawson lost his life after he was killed at an off-campus party, 4-years-later his killer remains free.

“Boy I pray, that we are getting closer to resolving the case that is my prayer, every single day,” said Josiah’s mother, Charmaine Lawson.

And every single day, Josiah’s mother, is focused on getting justice for her son, every year that goes by without a conviction gets harder for her bear the pain.

“I’m reliving it all over again, all over again, so it’s hard,” she said.  

A 4-year 4-mile Justice for Josiah walk is planned on Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., run, walk, or “roll” in his honor, the event starts at the Arcata City Hall at noon to Humboldt Bay Trail and then to the Arcata Plaza for the coat drive from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., music and refreshments will be available, signs of support are encouraged.

The annual Justice for Josiah coat drive was postponed due to COVID-19.

Charmaine says she is fully vaccinated and ready to hand out the essential supplies and gift cards collected specifically for unhoused HSU or College of the Redwood students, or anyone in need is encouraged to stop by the Arcata Plaza after the run.

Charmaine says the support from the community is how she’s been able to continue to fight for justice throughout the years, including the support from Arcata’s Police Chief Brian Ahearn.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the community,” she said.  “I invited the Chief, because the chief has always been supportive, and I also invited Karen Diemer the [Arcata’s] city manager. “

“We’ve have got to find a way to get this case back into court and that’s our primary goal and we are not going to stop.”

Ahearn says they need witnesses to come forward, anyone who witnessed the events surrounding the death of David Josiah Lawson, is asked to come forward and call (707) 825-2590.

“And that’s where we are at right now in terms of the investigation,” Ahearn said, “Witnesses report about a hundred people at the party, we’ve interviewed less than half of that.” 

Ahearn says they have the murder weapon, they just need witnesses to corroborate the physical evidence collected at the scene.

Charmaine says the reward will nearly double on April 15th, the anniversary of her son’s death, until May 20th, which is Josiah’s birthday.

“And that is for anyone that has any information leading to an arrest and conviction, any information, an eye witnesses, the reward is $100,000, only for a limited time,” she said.

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