It’s been just over 4 months since young DNC staffer, Seth Rich was murdered in NW DC. Still, no arrests or leads in the case.
Today, Seth’s parents came to town to speak out and ask for help from the public.
On a cold, blustery Monday, Mary Rich soaked up the sunshine, thankful for its warmth in more ways than one: “I’m taking the sunshine as Seth’s smile today,” says Mary Rich, Seth’s mother.
Mary was joined by her husband, Seth’s father, Joel, making a desperate plea for tips in the murder of their son, a 27-year-old DNC staffer. Also standing beside them, someone who did not know Seth, and probably did not have much in common with him: GOP lobbyist, Jack Burkman.
“He knows nothing about us, he didn’t know Seth, he’s a republican. Here he is stepping up to help my son who is a democrat,” says Mary. “To see a democratic and a republican lobbyist here, Seth would really be pleased that this is what the country is made up of.”
In addition to the $25,000 reward from DC Police, Burkman is offering up $100,000 of his own money to catch Seth’s killer. “When I heard the story about Seth, I couldn’t help but think about my mom getting the same call Mary did.” says Burkman, who is also an attorney in DC.
This is the first time Seth’s parents have been back to DC since their son’s death. They spent the day handing out flyers in the Bloomingdale neighborhood with Burkman.
On Friday, Seth’s parents teamed up with Donna Brazile to hand out flyers as well.
“That smile, when we put up these posters yesterday and I walked in his neighborhood and the gracious, wonderful smile, I know that after that smile comes the arms hugging me too,” says Mary.
Seth was shot twice in the back while walking home along Flagler Place on July 10th. Motive for the crime still isn’t clear, robbery being one possibility, but nothing was stolen. “I don’t believe there is much evidence of a robbery,” says Burkman.
“There had been other robberies in the neighborhood weeks before so he probably put together they were here for my cell phone,” says Seth’s father, Joel.
Conspiracy theories about Seth’s killers, only fueled more by a GOP lobbyist’s involvement. Theories he and the Rich family deny. “You can’t defend a lie, anyone who knows Seth’s personality knows that’s not his personality or what he believed in,” says Joel.
Mary says she won’t stop until Seth’s killers are caught. She hopes this reward money will give someone the courage to come forward. “There were two people involved that killed my son, he fought with them. Whoever did it, they have some bruises, and they have blood on them. If you saw anybody running in alleys, if you saw anyone coming home bruised and bloodied, please call the police.”
“You’ve got two people that shot my son twice in the back and that’s someone that will just shoot them in the back,” says Mary. “Think of that. You don’t want that with your children or with your family.”
Burkman says he plans to fund a reenactment at the crime scene sometime in the near future, in hopes of bringing in more tips.