MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - New efforts are underway to help catch a killer and it's putting a Madison County murder back in the spotlight.
Dawn Hendricks, a private investigator, is looking into the shooting death of Jason Klonowski, a homicide that's remained a mystery for years, in a push to breathe new life into the investigation.
There's been no arrests and few answers in the 2013 execution of Klonowski. He was found shot to death outside of his barn at his home in Harvest in November of 2013.
Dawn Hendricks, who has worked for the Huntsville Police Department and the Madison County Sheriff's Office in the past, is working to track down the killer by digging deep for new clues and leads.
"That's what a private investigator does, or any investigator, is find out the details of it, what's out there, and then find the other details that aren't out there," she said. "It is listed as a cold case. In November it will be five years since he was killed."
On Wednesday, she met with Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning and other sheriff's officials to discuss the cold case.
"We all agree that at the end of the day, what we want to accomplish is to find the truth, whatever the truth is," Hendricks stated. "I do have hope that in the next few weeks, they'll get some things into play and move forward with looking more in-depth into the case."
At the time of his death, Klonowski's property was covered with anti-sheriff's office signs after Hendricks says his friend, Robert Bryant, was beaten by a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop.
Many have speculated that Klonowski's public stance against the sheriff's office could have been a potential motive for someone to want to harm him. It's one angle Hendricks is exploring.
"He is one who stood up and was very public and picketed against the sheriff's office," she said. "The Robert Bryant beat down where they paid out a settlement there and then Jason Klonowski, the friend, who stood up against that and then he's found dead. For me, I would have to look at that and see possibly if there's a connection there."
When asked if she thinks a member of law enforcement could have been involved, Hendricks responded: "I think absolutely there's a possibility. Anybody involved with Jason could be a suspect. Anyone who had any reason to harm him or if there was a vendetta, those are the key people you want to look into first."
According to Hendricks, the sheriff asked for her to choose an Huntsville Police Department investigator to help look into the killing.
"Anytime there's circumstances where there may be possibly somebody involved that works at any agency, I think it's smart to look for outside help," she added. "It gives the public some transparency there."
She's been out at the scene and has interviewed several people, but declined to reveal who hired her to look into the crime.
"I think that anybody that has any details in the case needs to come forward. It's been almost five years and a killer is still out there. This is a murder. Three shots to the back of the head and there's a murderer walking amongst us," Hendricks said.
The Madison County Sheriff's Office says they do have an investigator assigned to the cold case.
Their spokesman added that they welcome anything Dawn Hendricks can offer to help move the case forward and bring Klonowski's loved ones some closure.
"I can't let somebody walk away from murder. That shouldn't be. Not in this day and time. There's too many ways of finding out things. I think you can find the right people and ask the right questions, it can be solved," Hendricks said.
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