Jun 9, 2017

Arcata City Council approves community reward fund for information leading to arrest and conviction in the David Lawson case

At its meeting on Wednesday evening, the Arcata City Council approved a community reward program for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the April 15 homicide of David Josiah Lawson. Community members have donated $21,000 to establish the fund. According to Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman, the APD has had success with reward programs in the past and will continue to accept funds for the Lawson case reward.

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.
Chief Chapman spoke about David Josiah Lawson’s murder investigation at the meeting. “This is absolutely an open and ongoing case… It is being worked on literally every day. We continue to interview and identify witnesses,” said Chapman. “Confidentially is an important part of criminal investigations, which I know can be frustrating. We are 100 percent committed to the investigation as are our allied agencies.”

Chapman confirmed the California Department of Justice’s involvement in the case, stating that the DOJ is providing forensic support but will not supply investigative support until local resources are exhausted. Locally, the APD has partnered with the Humboldt County District Attorney and Sheriff’s offices, the Eureka Police Department and the Humboldt State University Police Department to review, evaluate and analyze the investigation. Chief Chapman also confirmed that an outside agency from a large city that did not want to be named has committed two experienced homicide detectives to the Lawson case. “It’s not uncommon for agencies to take a look at an investigation from the outside, and looking at the investigative steps, make a determination if there is something more that can be done,” said Chapman. “That is in process.”

Anyone with information regarding David Josiah Lawson’s murder 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.


  1. yet they won't get off their asses and look into the Kyle Zoellner beating

    1. Or the case of Arcata Dad who was jumped by DJ, Elijah, Ren, and others.


    2. @3:29 DJ, Elijah, and Ren have not been formally identified although they still could be if APD gets on the case.

  2. Can't wait for this case to be solved. Why does my gut tell me that when the real killer is found it's going to only draw more cries of racism because the real killer is probably not someone who the Lawson group is going to want.

  3. I'm so over hearing abiut this the kid is dead nothing is going to change that. Why is it such a big deal he isn't someone important he was just a student. Did he really do anything fantastic and outstanding? 1 he shouldn't have been at the party as it violates the student athlete code so therefore he was at fault? The killer we probably will never find out but it sure seems that the chief and rest of arcata police are bias to this Lawson kid why is that I don't understand what makes this kid a saint. I hope in time everyone gets the justice and answers that both families need for them to move forward

  4. They don't have to look to far.....It's going to come out that it is one of Josiah's friends that are calling for racism. With all this $$ being offered someone will come forward with a video. And WHY THE HELL IS NOTHING BEING DONE IN REGARDS TO THE KYLE KID BEING BEAT BY ALL OF THOSE BLACK GUYS??? Wouldn't that seem like a hate crime in itself?????

  5. Peace pole, sanctuary City status, nuclear free zone,pot everywhere,no corporate money,hate police except for when they have a problem. And then you ask about finding the killer-what a joke! This will become a cold case just like Jimmy Hoffa.