As dusk falls Friday, the Reader family will start at their Clayton Park home and end at the street corner where their eldest boy was found unconscious — completing the walk that he never did before he was killed four years ago.
Jonathan Reader, 19, was found with a massive head wound at the intersection of Radcliffe Drive and Dunbrack Street at 4:10 a.m. Aug. 7, 2005, a mere 10 minutes from where he lived with his parents and two younger brothers on Lanshaw Close. He died in hospital a short time later and the person or people responsible for his death are still at large.
David and Linda Reader hope Friday’s walk will keep the unsolved murder in the public eye, and keep their late son’s memory alive.
“It’s symbolic of making that last journey for him,” David said of what was supposed to be a happy occasion for Jonathan, who was having one last hurrah with friends downtown before starting commerce courses at Saint Mary’s University that fall.
Friday’s walk — which starts at 7 p.m. at 3 Lanshaw Close — will also include a prayer and speeches at the memorial site and feature a new song called What Happened to Jon, written and performed by David and family friend Brian Devereaux.
Neighbour Mel Hackett said the tragic and untimely death “could have happened to any family.
“He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time – it’s something that shouldn’t have happened,” Hackett said.
Linda said she has been on a roller coaster of emotions for four years, from deep appreciation for those who have offered their support to the realization that the very core of her belief system has been rocked.
“You take every day as a new day.”
The Justice Department is offering a reward of $150,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction, something Jonathan’s parents believe will help them heal.
“Somebody famous said ‘the truth will set you free,’ ” David said. “Well, it will set us free.”
Investigators have made some “positive steps” in the case of Jonathan’s murder, but still need more help from the public, a Halifax Regional Police spokesman said.
“We were able to last track his movements at 3:20 a.m.,” Const. Brian Palmeter said. “He was at the Dutch Village Esso.”
Palmeter said that means “something happened” between about 3:40 and 4:10 a.m.
“We’re looking for the people that might have been up in that area around that time, if they’d seen anything at all, to contact police.”
Call 490-5333 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 with any information.
Palmeter emphasized police believe Jonathan was “a completely innocent victim.”