Arcata Police Await Results of ‘More Complex DNA’ Testing in Death of David Josiah Lawson

David Josiah Lawson

David Josiah Lawson

This is a press release from the City of Arcata:

Arcata Police Department continues an active investigation into the homicide of David Josiah Lawson. Since criminal investigations can take time, the City wants to remind the community that this is an active and open case.

The Police Department is working through a defined investigative strategy based on all the physical evidence and witness statements, much of which has been developed/obtained after the preliminary hearing. “Our current focus is on providing the strongest case possible. In order to do so we must have all the critical evidence processed through the Department of Justice and follow up on any leads generated from the results” stated Police Chief Tom Chapman.

As an update to the investigation the City has finalized an initial review of all the evidence with an outside investigator retired from the FBI. This review resulted in an investigative report and several suggested next steps including additional evidence testing that are underway. Although the Police Department has received a majority of the forensic evidence back from the Department of Justice, it is awaiting the completion of more complex DNA and specialty evidence testing.

A community reward program for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible is now over $40,000, between funds donated to the City and an additional pledges received by the family. Award eligibility requires that the information provided leads directly to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible. If more than one person provides identical information, the reward will be equally divided amongst those people.

At this point the investigation has interviewed 46 individuals and believes that all witnesses who could have viewed the fight and events leading up to the homicide have been interviewed. There are still many party attendees who could have knowledge of events earlier in the evening or after the night that could be of value to the investigation and encourages anyone with information, regardless of how minor it may seem, to come forward. The City Council held four community meetings in 2017 to discuss updates on the investigation and overall strategies to improve student safety. After the last meeting in October, students requested that investigation updates be separated from the student safety discussion and that student safety meetings be held on campus. For the months of November and December student safety meetings facilitated by students were held as a trial on campus. The attendance and input from students was very positive. These meetings will continue to be held through the Student Diversity Committee with support from many campus club leaders. Investigation updates will continue to be released through the press as information is available. Any individual or group with questions about the investigation should contact the City Manager’s Office at (707) 822-5953.

“Although it is critical to maintain confidentiality during a criminal investigation, I recognize that the length of time that has passed combined with the investigative privacy is taxing. I appreciate the community’s patience allowing for the thoroughness that this investigation requires and deserves. We will continue to work to bring resolution and justice for David Josiah Lawson and his family”, shares Mayor Sofia Pereira.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Arcata Police Department at (707) 822-2428 during normal business hours, or (707) 822-2424 after hours and on weekends.

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  • unbridled phillistine

    Arcata PD rested on their laurels when they arrested Kyle then it was obvious they had the wrong guy, By then to much time had passed and they lost all of the suspects by then. Now Arcata has no clue who to investigate. Sad police work Im afraid.

    • Well when the DNA come back as “African American” im sure we won’t here a peep. If I was Kyle I would then sue APD AND the entire Lawson family for public slander along with any of Josiah’s racist drunk friends for physically assaulting me .Oh wait…you can’t be racist if your a POC. 😐

  • APD felt pressured to arrest someone, anyone. HSU did the psuedo outrage thing too. Lots of people ready to hang centuries of history on this one case. Rather than prove their poltically correct bona fides, they both should have proceeded methodically, independently and without bias to develop a case rather that can stand in court.

    I just hope if they finally get the evidence they need to pursue a conviction, they haven’t so damaged their credibility that they are unable to convict anyone.

  • I hope the man that was wrongly subjected to a knee jerk arrest sues the pants off the Peoples Republic of Arcata.

  • I agree that the death of this young man was very sad and unnecessary, I think the law enforcement response was inept and unprofessional and only adds to Humboldt’s reputation as an undeveloped, outlaw region.

  • unbridled phillistine

    I ran into Kyle the other day at Walmart, Said hey you staying out of trouble? He said”Yes sir I am” And I believed him. He sure got the short end of the stick on that murder charge. Glad he walked.

  • I don’t know who killed Josiah. Unfortunately whether right or wrong everyone seemed to get on the bandwagon and pointed the proverbial finger at Kyle. This included the powers that be at HSU and APD. I hope that once the DNA results come back that finally someone will be held accountable for this senseless murder. Murder happens far too often in this small county. Pray you or a family member isn’t a victim of a senseless killing. My son almost was. The DA said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge the identified perp. It only takes one lousy detective to screw up any type of accountability. Life goes on, but somewhere out there is a murderer and a person who almost killed my son. We know who you are. Karma will prevail. Stay strong everyone.

    • Its a great case of “reverse” racism and mob mentality . Break out the pitchforks n torches boys!, we going to hang ourselves a white boie!

  • I found the pileated woodpecker. Put me on the case. 👮🏽‍♀️And David’s girlfriend will go to prison.

  • Boy everybody was sure hoping the white boy was guilty.

  • I hope they put together a solid case so the decedent’s mother can get some closure.

  • A lot of words to basically say nothing. Boy they must be concerned because they are blowing a lot of smoke. Arrested the white boy prematurely then had to let him go. APD and HSU and Arcata City Council making lots of splashy speeches about race stuff but then when the protest got crazy and held citizens captive in safeway parking lot the police ran away and hid. Still cannot believe that! And they have still to this day not explained their lack of response or failure of responsibility. For shame, APD!! A young man was killed and everybody was so quick to make their point about race relations that they all stirred the pot ever faster. I don’t care about race. A young man was killed and he deserved better from our authorities here than to turn it into a race issue. If it turns out one of his friends killed him then I hope the whole lot of them lose their jobs- all the posing idiots at HSU, APD and Arcata government.

  • Hope they can eventually identify whose fingerprint(s) were on the suspected murder weapon.

  • It’s not over yet people. I think the apd is doing it’s job just fine- these things take time. Kyle isn’t out of the woods yet. He’s still the most likely culprit in my mind. Yes this is a small town and there are a lot of rascist dummies here, black and white, but I think the truth will get sorted out in due time.

    • If they had done their job just fine then this whole apologist press release would not exist.

      To put what happened more accurately, political pressures to rush to judgement created a mess and the APD and University have been trying to fix it ever since.

      The lesson to be learned, and I doubt it was learned, was that principles of justice shouldn’t be subverted by populist pressure. A lesson the people seem to find palatable in literature than in real life.

  • In march 2015 a young boy was killed in Klamath ca. My daughters younger brother.Dante was 13 years old. We are still pleading for justice. So many lives were ripped apart from this tagedy. No opinion makes this ok. There is another Justice for Date March in Crescent City Ca 3-2-2018. Our community has been ripped apart by murders in the last 8 years, probably longer than that but my family has felt the steely ice of life lost at the hands of other people’s violence personally starting in 2010. My 20 year old daughter has seen more violent death in her teens than I did on TV in my teens. Every day she struggles to just go on, with the guilt of trying to be ok when murderers walk free. My heart goes out to this family. Please turn away from violence, turn away from it as recreation and entertainment. Turn away from anger and the justification of abusing others in the name of anger. Insist on answers for this boys death as we will continue to do in our community for those we have lost. Stop hate participate! Fight for mental health services for young people! Grief is deafening and it freezes our souls if not dealt with in a healthy manner. God help us.

    • unbridled phillistine

      I had not heard about this murder? I cannot imagine your loss. Hang in there, Justice will come! I believe that, you have to. Thank you for sharing. Terrible too hear.

    • I agree with the devastating effects of violence as recreation. Too many people think that every little issue needs an over-the-top response and the physical assault is an acceptable method of resolving problems. And find those to support the people who do such violence.

  • *March for Justice for Dante Romannose-Jones 3-2-18 ( excuse my autocorrect)
    He was murdered in Klamath, Ca. There have been numerous murders in Del Norte County that have gone unanswered for. There have been some murders where the killer was sentenced. Kym maybe that would be something to look at, just a list of those murdered and which ones received media attention as well as which ones resulted in a conviction (or plea). It’s so sad really that with all our human technology and improved living conditions we face this in our daily lives.

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