ARCATA – The City of Arcata and Arcata Police are explicitly stating that Humboldt State student and friend of David Josiah Lawson, Elijah Chandler, is not a suspect under investigation in Lawson's death (see below).
Chandler had been named a suspect by an anonymous Craigslist troll. Friends and advocates for justice in the Lawson case had demanded that Arcata Police specifically deny that Chandler is a suspect. City officials said they would check with Chandler and see whether he was amenable to the demand.
APD is also asking that any witnesses who had been at the party at which Lawson was killed step forward to cooperate in the investigation.
Below, the city's press release, issued Friday afternoon:
LAWSON HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES ADDITIONAL WITNESSES ARE NEEDED ACCUSATIONS POSTED ON INTERNET NOT ACCURATE
Arcata Police Department continues an active investigation into the murder of David Josiah Lawson. Recently posts accusing Lawson’s friend, Elijah Chandler, of being a suspect under investigation have surfaced. These posts are false and are not rooted in any investigation facts. The Arcata Police Department has identified the source of the initial posts. The individual had no personal knowledge of the incident or the investigation.
The APD encourages additional individuals who attended the party where Lawson was stabbed at any time on the night of Friday, April 14 or the morning of April 15 to reach out to the Police Department, provide a recollection of any party details and answer related questions. The Police Department also reminds the public that misleading social media posts not only cause real damage to individuals in the community but also take vital resources away from other important investigations.