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Family pleads for answers in Blind Rabbit murder

$20,000 in reward money available for tips in Daniel Rowe's killing

Daniel Rowe's funeral will be held Saturday morning and afterward his friends will have a celebration of his life at the Blind Rabbit.
Daniel Rowe's funeral will be held Saturday morning and afterward his friends will have a celebration of his life at the Blind Rabbit.

The parents of murdered Blind Rabbit restaurant worker Daniel Rowe joined with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and First Coast Crime Stoppers Thursday to plead for information from the public.

Raelyn Rowe, Daniel Rowe's mother, said the Justice Coalition has collected $7,000 in donations for reward money for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. That is in addition to $13,000 being offered by First Coast Crime Stoppers for any tips leading to an arrest.

"We just want justice for him," Raelyn Rowe said. "We hope you'll help us find who did this to our son."

Someone shot Daniel Rowe twice in the head behind The Blind Rabbit restaurant in Riverside on July 22, just weeks before his 21st birthday. Police said witnesses saw two men running from the scene but they only have vague descriptions.

Daniel Rowe had two children, 4 years old and 7 months old, and was expecting a third child with his fiancée.

"He's a father of two with another child on the way simply trying to make ends meet and he was killed for no reason," JSO Assistant Chief Scott Dingee said. "Obviously it's a tragedy for his family, but it's a tragedy for Jacksonville as well."

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Police said they believe the shooting was likely part of a robbery and have released two photos of possible wallets that Daniel Rowe was carrying when he was gunned down while helping another employee take out the trash. Dingee said the taco wallet pictured is believed to be similar to the one stolen from Daniel Rowe.

"That's one of the key pieces of evidence that we're looking for. Something that if somebody finds in a trash can or finds on their property, certainly we'd be very interested in recovering that," Dingee said.

First Coast Crime Stoppers Director Wylie Hodges said his organization received only eight tips in the case and hasn't had any new information since August.

"That's not acceptable. For a city this large, we know that people know what's going on out there. We know from these eight tips that there's information out there," Hodges said. "The heart of the Crime Stoppers program is anonymity. I can't drive this hard enough for everyone to understand. You call, you give the information, we take it. We do not know who calls. We do not want to know who calls. We can't trace the call. All we want from you when you call is your information."

Hodges said Clear Channel has provided three billboards around the city, which are running case info and the Crime Stoppers number trying to get information from the public. 

Daniel Rowe's funeral will be held Saturday morning and afterward his friends will have a celebration of his life at the Blind Rabbit.
Daniel Rowe's funeral will be held Saturday morning and afterward his friends will have a celebration of his life at the Blind Rabbit.

"We've got a lot of murders, a lot of violence going on in Jacksonville, and the only way we're going to solve these cases, the only way we're going to curb some of this violence is by everyone's help, the public's help," Hodges said.

Raelyn Rowe said her family is trying to hold together to help raise Daniel's children and keep his memory alive.

"We can't plead enough for anybody with any information to just call," Raelyn Rowe said. "Any information at all, make sure somebody knows it."

Detectives are still working the case and anyone with information about Daniel Rowe's death is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward for information leading to an arrest.