Charlotte County teen’s death unsolved, reward increased for helpful information

A grandfather is desperate for answers after his grandson’s mysterious death in Charlotte County.

Gage Jackson’s grandpa, Randy Jackson, sat down with us to talk about his grandson and his family still searching for answers after he was found dead six months ago.

Gage, 19, was found dead in a Prairie Creek in Charlotte County back in April.

“It’s something that is very hard to get over,” Randy said. “He’s changed my life forever.”

The lives of the Jackson family were turned upside down after deputies identified Gage’s body as the one found in the local creek.

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about Gage or talk about him,” Randy said.

More than six months later, the Jackson family is desperately searching for answers. Charlotte County detectives have not yet named a suspect or person of interest in Gage’s death, but they believe somebody knows something.

“There might be a piece of fact in that rumor that’s passed on to you that could be crucial to the detectives for solving the case,” said Katie Heck, public information officer with Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers recently increased its reward to $28,000 for information submitted to it that will help solve Gage’s death investigation.

“I would like to think that somebody would come forward without having to claim money,” Randy said. “But that is what it’s there for.”

Some people in the community think Jackson’s death could be related to criminal charges when he was 17 years old. But his family said those charges were dropped before he died.

“In this country, you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” Randy said. “And everybody said he was guilty before anything happened.”

Until the truth is discovered, the Jackson family continues to plead for answers.

“We just want to know what happened and why,” Randy said.

MORE: Reward increased to help solve Gage Jackson’s death

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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