Parents of soldier found dead offer $5,000 reward for information

GALESBURG, Illinois -- Grieving parents who are trying to figure out what happened to their late son are offering a reward for information.

Sandra Halsne and Keith Smith have decided to offer a $5,000 reward “for the arrest and conviction” of those involved in their son Tyler Smith’s death, according to a report by the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Smith was found dead in Galesburg back in September of 2018 in Cedar Fork.  Cedar Fork is a concrete canal that runs northeast through Galesburg parallel to the BNSF railroad tracks.

Previous reports indicate Smith had recently moved from Rochelle, Illinois to Concord, California and was in Galesburg fulfilling Illinois Army National Guard obligations, according to police.  He was spotted by someone walking nearby.  Emergency responders found Smith dead at the scene.

A Facebook page dedicated to "Justice for Tyler Smith" shows that a fundraiser was created to help move the investigation.   As of Wednesday, January 30, their donation page had raised more than $5,000 with about 120 donors on Facebook. That's around $41 per person.

The Galesburg police already has Tyler Smith on the CrimeStoppers list and are asking for information to aid in the investigation of his death. The reward the parents are offering is separate from the CrimeStoppers reward.

Police have stated that it's unlikely that an arrest will be made, reported the Register-Mail.  According to them, Smith's drowning was not the result of foul play or any kind of assault.

The Register Mail reported that Chief David Christensen said the investigation was still open "because someone could come forward..."

According to The Register Mail:

"Sandra Halsne said part of what motivates her belief that her son met with some kind of foul play before drowning is based on a time frame established by Tyler Smith’s cellphone and surveillance footage from a business on the corner of Main and West streets."

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