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Family offering $10,000 reward
Updated on: 08.12.14

 

Someone has information that could lead police to the driver involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash June 1.

Bob Rice believes that person should come forward. That’s why he is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the driver of the pickup truck who fled after hitting and killing his 36-year-old stepson, Chad Demuth.

“Nothing will bring him back, but it could bring some closure to this horrible incident,” Rice said after announcing the reward last week. “It’s not going to bring complete closure, but it might help, and every little bit helps.”

Demuth left the John Hartford Memorial Festival at Bill Monroe Music Park in Bean Blossom on foot in the early hours of June 1.

While he was walking along State Road 135 North near Hurdle Road, a pickup truck slammed into him from behind. The impact threw him 140 feet, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death was blunt-force trauma.

Rice called Demuth’s death an “act against nature” because he believes children should not die before their parents.

Detective Scott Southerland has spent hours trying to track down the driver. He has some key information to go on, but he still needs the public’s help.

Demuth had been heading north on State Road 135 before turning around when his girlfriend called and told him he was going the wrong way. Demuth left the festival before his girlfriend did because she wanted to stay and he did not. The couple lived together in Bloomington.

That’s where Demuth was headed, but he had not been to Brown County before and wasn’t familiar with the area. Demuth previously lived in Louisville, Kentucky, where his mother and stepfather live.

While heading south, Demuth was hit by a southbound truck. Police have narrowed the time of the impact to between 12:20 and 2:20 a.m. A passer-by discovered Demuth’s body in a yard about 20 feet off the highway.

Through evidence gathered from the crash scene, including from the clothing Demuth was wearing, the Indiana State Police lab determined the truck could be a black 1988 to 1997 Chevrolet or GMC C1500 or W/T model truck. The truck also could be a different color with a bumper that is painted black, Southerland said.

Since the death of his stepson, Rice has visited Brown County several times to meet with police and discuss the case. Southerland, along with Sheriff Rick Followell and Chief Deputy Dan Conley, recently brainstormed with Rice about how to keep the case fresh in people’s minds.

Rice fears people will forget about his Demuth’s death and the case will go unsolved. He will be creating reward posters he hopes will be displayed at local businesses, including Bill Monroe Music Park.

Police want to know if someone left the music festival and did not return as expected — or returned but began acting differently.

No information that could be related to Demuth’s death is insignificant, police said. If a resident knows of someone who used to drive a truck that matches the description or if someone with a similar truck recently had body work done to the vehicle’s passenger side, the resident should share that information, police said.

Southerland can be reached at 988-6655, ext. 2106.

For those wanting to remain anonymous, messages can be left on the tip line at 988-6620.

The family set up a Facebook page called, “Who Killed Chad DeMuth?

 

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