Wednesday, April 14, 2021

APD Renews Call for Witnesses as Fourth Anniversary of Lawson's Death Approaches

Posted By on Wed, Apr 14, 2021 at 5:32 PM

click to enlarge lawson-news1-7-cbe6e7942c6491f1-cropped.jpg
As the fourth anniversary of his death approaches, the Arcata Police Department is once again calling on witnesses to step forward in the April 15, 2017, stabbing of Humboldt State University sophomore David Josiah Lawson.

In a joint public service announcement Chief Brian Ahearn recorded with Lawson's mother, Charmaine Lawson, they urge witnesses who may have attended the party at which Lawson was stabbed to come forward and talk to investigators.

The department has set up an anonymous tip line to field information in the case, which can be reached at (707) 825-2590.

"The tip line continues to be an effective strategy to generate leads," Ahearn said in a news release.  "If you were at that party or know information about the killing, please come forward." 

According to the release, fewer than half of the estimated 100 partygoers present when Lawson was killed "have have come forward to be interviewed by APD investigators. The APD believes there are more people with more information who can assist the investigation."

To mark the anniversary of Lawson's death, celebrate his life and maintain public awareness of the case, Charmaine Lawson, and other supporters have planned a five-hour event for April 17 that will feature a 4-mile "Justice for Josiah" walk and a fourth annual coat drive on the Arcata Plaza that will feature music and beverages. Those attending are encouraged to wear masks, abide by COVID-19 public health protocols and bring signs. (Find more information here.)

Watch the PSA and find the full press release copied below.



Tomorrow marks the four year anniversary of the stabbing and killing of Humboldt State University sophomore student David Josiah Lawson.   The Lawson murder investigation remains an open case, and the Arcata Police Department again asks the community for assistance to solve this murder.

APD has a 24-hour tip line where information could be shared anonymously and confidentially with the department.  Any information that can assist the investigation in any way is sought.  "The tip line continues to be an effective strategy to generate leads," said Arcata Chief of Police Brian Ahearn.  "If you were at that party or know information about the killing, please come forward." 

Of the 100 partygoers reportedly present the night of the murder less than have have come forward to be interviewed by APD investigators.  The APD believes there are more people with more information who can assist the investigation.

The APD's Investigations Division monitors the 24-hour confidential tip line.  If you or someone you know was at the party the night Josiah Lawson was stabbed, or if you have information about the case, please call (707) 825-2590 or APD Dispatch at (707) 822-2424.  A follow up email to this press release contains a Facebook compatible Public Service Announcement recorded by Josiah's mother, Charmaine Lawson, and Chief Ahearn.

Regarding the PSA Ahearn said, "Please listen to the PSA, post it, like it, share it, whatever you need to do to get the word out that witnesses are essential to getting this case back into court."

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Kimberly Wear

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Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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