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Police seek person of interest in house party murder

Announcement comes days after reward increased in Jonah Golden case

Previous booking photo of Kyon Wilkes
Previous booking photo of Kyon Wilkes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two days after a reward increase was announced in an unsolved murder case from April, police said they are looking for a person of interest in the case.

Jonah Golden, 19, was shot and killed April 23 at a house party on Liska Drive on Jacksonville's Westside. His mother, Rebecca Harp, added $5,000 of her own money Wednesday to the Crime Stoppers $3,000 reward, bringing the total to $8,000.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Friday that detectives are looking for Kyon Wilkes, 21, because they believe he has information about the shooting.

Wilkes is currently wanted on two outstanding warrants for driving on a suspended license, police said.

"I want to thank those who came forward with the new information for doing so," Harp said Friday. "It makes me feel sad that people are motivated by money, but honestly I don't care. I just want the information."

Harp said that her son was a sweet kid who worked two jobs, but had that night off, and went to the party on the other side of town. She said the pain of his loss has been unbearable. She said Golden told her something was wrong, and he had a premonition something bad was going to happen.

"He actually did give me some clues that he felt like something was wrong. As was reported after his death, he posted on Facebook, 'God, if this is my last day just let me come home to you.' But I had a couple conversations with him before that night that he thought something bad was about to happen to him," Harp said. "I think that the person that possibly shot Jonah or knows who shot Jonah is scared to come forward."

The mother said she goes to the cemetery once a week to visit her son's grave. She pleaded for anyone with more information about his death to come forward.

"We really just want to get the information from you that you may have, and if you could just give that information so that I could have some closure," Harp said. 

Wyllie Hodges, with Crime Stoppers, said Wednesday that it’s “impossible for me to believe” that no one saw anything or knows what happened in the house party murder. He said the “code of silence the kids have has to be broken.”

"You know, 30-40 minimum, maybe more, people in the house, a fight breaks out and nobody knows who shot. I really can't believe that," Hodges said.

Hodges pointed out that tips to Crime Stoppers have resulted in arrests in 111 murders since he’s been there.

"I don't need to know who they are, but I do need to know who shot and killed my son," Harp said.

Anyone with any information about Wilkes' location is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $8,000 contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.