Heartbroken Lakeland Father Offers $10,000 Reward in Pursuit of Teen's Killer

Heartbroken Lakeland Father Offers $10,000 Reward in Pursuit of Teen’s Killer

It’s been a full year, but Joe Ketchum still carries the ache of losing his son.

“He would’ve been 18 in May, and he would’ve graduated high school and started his life. Unfortunately, that’s been taken from him,” Ketchum said.

Each passing day has been a painful ordeal for Ketchum, as he remains in the dark about who took his son Tye Ketchum’s life.

“Why? I just want to understand Why? Why would you do that? It doesn’t make any sense, none whatsoever,” Ketchum said.

Tye went to Lakeland High School. Those close to him characterized him as kind-hearted and deeply committed to both his faith and his family.

On October 15, 2022, the 17-year-old was tragically shot inside his residence at the Park at Palazzo Apartments, situated at 3685 Victoria Manor Drive in Lakeland. His father had just returned from work when he discovered him.

“I found him lying on the floor, face down, gasping for air. I didn’t know what happened. Initially, I thought it was a stab wound, but it wasn’t, it was a gunshot wound,” Ketchum said.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information that leads to an arrest. The Lakeland Police Department has recently made Tye’s name and photo public with the family’s consent.

Ketchum expresses a wish that investigators had requested them to disclose this information earlier.

“That was one of the things that upset me and my ex-wife. When the initial newspaper was written about what had happened, all it says was it was a minor at a north Lakeland apartment complex,” he said.

He will continue to press for explanations until the person who killed his son is apprehended.

“Hopeful that somebody out there that sees this understands what happened that night and comes forward so that we can have justice,” said Ketchum.

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With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.