Friday morning, a rally was held for Jesse Maness at the Randolph County Courthouse in Asheboro, North Carolina. The "Justice for Jesse" event was scheduled by his mother, Kathy Gaines, who is demanding that her son's case be reopened. Investigators are certain his death was caused by a car accident, but many factors have convinced the family that he may have been murdered.
Jesse was found 6 days after he had last been seen. His cause of death appeared to be drowning, in 18 inches of water, after surviving his car driving off a bridge. However, some doubts remain, due to some circumstances. First, as Jesse was not wearing the clothes he was last seen in, his mother believes he had been at home, getting ready for bed, and something happened to her 24-year old son. However, authorities believe he had lost the rest of his clothes in his struggle to free himself from the overturned car.
There are several other factors that play into this. Jesse's car was tampered with, a rock shoved in the accelerator to keep it open. She also says that the area where he and his car were ultimately found had previously been searched and neither were there. Also, there is a witness who has expressed remorse to the family, saying that he helped stage the young man's death, adding that his body had been kept in a freezer for a time. Lastly, the medical examiner has stated that his time of death was between 24 hours and 3 days, even though he had been missing for 6 days, and he had only been in the water for, at most, 24 hours. Strange coincidence or need for further investigation?
Area law enforcement is sticking to their findings, that this was just an accident, but that won't be enough for Jesse's family, who have vowed to never give up, until the case is reopened. They have started a Facebook page, Justice for Jesse, as well as starting a petition at Change.org. Maybe this will draw enough attention to the case, forcing the authorities to take another look. After all, what could it hurt? And if Kathy is right, there is a killer in her local area, just walking free.
Will the new information in the case be enough to get it reopened? Will Kathy Gaines see justice served for her son? Who is responsible for Jesse Maness' death? Only time will tell what will happen in this situation. It must be absolutely excruciating, as a mother, to go through this kind of pain.