John Wheeler’s family offers $25K reward for info leading to arrest

The family of John Wheeler III wants answers, and is willing to pay.

Wheeler family attorney, Colm Connolly, talks about the $25K reward in John Wheeler III homicide investigation, and the disappointment felt on the family’s part about having to learn about what killed Wheeler from the media.

The family of John Wheeler III wants answers, and is willing to pay.

Wheeler’s family is offering a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for his murder.  View the reward flyer.

They issued a statement regarding the reward through their attorney, Colm Connolly, former U.S. Attorney for Delaware.

“We are grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and concern we have received over the past few weeks and for the efforts of the law enforcement authorities to uncover the circumstances surrounding Jack’s death. We have suffered a heartbreaking loss, and not knowing how Jack died amplifies the devastation we feel. Our hope in offering this reward is to encourage anyone who may have helpful information to come forward so that justice can be served.”

“We thought that by offering this money, folks might be encouraged to come forward, who otherwise might not want to speak with the police, and ultimately that might reveal what actually happened to Jack Wheeler,” added Connolly.

Late Friday afternoon, the Delaware Medical Examiner announced Wheeler, whose body was found in a dumpster at a Wilmington landfill New Year’s Eve, died of blunt force trauma after he was assaulted.

A finding Connolly says he and the family learned second hand.

“We were very disappointed on Friday when we learned from the media that the M.E.’s office had issued a final report and that, I wouldn’t expect, I hope that doesn’t happen again,” said Connolly.

While the Medical Examiner’s ruling answered what caused the death of the former presidential aide, the Newark Police Department, the lead agency in the case, still has a number of questions.

“At this point, the Newark Police Department is still investigating how Mr. Wheeler, who was last seen in Rodney Square in Wilmington, was transported to Newark and who is responsible, ultimately, for his murder,” said Lt. Mark Farrall, spokesman for the department, on Friday.

Here’s a timeline according to Wheeler attorney Colm Connolly and Newark Police:

December 25, 2010 — Wheeler is in NY where he and wife, Katherine Klyce, have a home.
December 28, 2010 — Wheeler travels to Washington, D.C.
December 28, 2010 — Wheeler rides the train to Wilmington, DE that night
December 29, 2010 — Surveillance video captures Wheeler looking disoriented and disheveled in a Colonial Parking lot next to the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington.
December 30, 2010 — Wheeler visits law firm (not Connolly’s) inside the Nemours Buiding, at 10th and Orange Streets in Wilmington, that afternoon.
December 30, 2010 — Surveillance video captures Wheeler at 8:42 p.m., the day before his body was found, crossing Market Street heading towards Rodney Square wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
December 31, 2010 — The body of John Wheeler III is found inside a dumpster police say traveled from Newark to Cherry Island landfill in Wilmington

Connolly says police have not shown him or the Wheelers the surveillance video outside of the Nemours Building, but they would like to see it, especially since the family says Wheeler never wore hooded sweatshirts.

Connolly also says accusations Wheeler was drunk when he appeared confused on security camera footage are unfounded because Wheeler did not drink.

A spokesman for the state Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) says toxicology results will remain sealed, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Wheeler was a Washington insider and an advisor to several U.S. presidents; he most recently worked for an engineering and information technology company that worked with the government.

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