A reward for information about a 2002 deadly hit-and-run incident in Emanuel County has been more than tripled after an Arizona man pledged to add $5,000 to the existing $1,000 reward.
Jeannie Willene Ellis Bryant of Metter has been struggling for 15 years now to find out who hit and killed her brother off Highway 56 in Swainsboro, but even after Emanuel County sheriff’s investigators reopened the cold case in 2015, no one has stepped forward, she said.
But Michael Morrow, a 55-year-old builder from Goodyear, Arizona, hopes that by adding $5,000 to the $1,000 already offered by the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office, someone will be tempted by the $6,000 total reward to come forward with information.
Morrow, who befriended Bryant when he lived in Cobbtown several years ago, said he maintains the friendship via Facebook and follows her page, “Is there NO justice for Terry Brooks ‘Bubba’ Rewis.”
“I’m doing it to help her,” he told the Statesboro Herald on Wednesday after posting a Facebook comment Tuesday night offering the extra reward. “I have watched her struggle with this for years.”
Rewis, who was 23, is believed to have been walking back from the Redbreast Festival in Midway when someone struck and killed him on April 21, 2002. However, Bryant said that several witnesses, including the man who took Rewis to the festival, have told her conflicting stories that make her feel her brother’s death was more than just an accident.
Over the past 15 years, she has constantly collected information and pled publicly for someone to “tell what they know,” she said.
Bryant said Rewis was seen fighting with a man at the festival, and she believes someone may have shoved him from the back of a pickup truck.
Reports from law enforcement agencies state that Rewis was struck from behind as he was walking, she said. Hunters found his body in the roadway.
Bryant said she can’t find words to express her appreciation to Morrow.
“I was in shock when I saw his comment,” she said on Wednesday. “I didn’t even want to go to bed after that. I never expected that.”
She met Morrow when she was working at Waffle House in Metter.
“That was years ago,” she said. “I haven’t seen him, except on Facebook, for several years now.”
She, too, hopes the significantly expanded reward will lure someone to talk about what happened.
“Somebody killed my brother, whether by accident or not,” she said. “We have killers walking the street. It really gets to me that we have people who killed somebody walking free.”
She said she has been trying to raise money to increase the reward and hire a private investigator.
Emanuel County sheriff’s investigators were not immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Emanuel County sheriff’s Investigator David McVey at (478) 237-7526.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.