They're certain Hinton's killers knew he was coming into a windfall from the police brutality case and killed him for it
"Somebody knows exactly what happened to Kyron in that house," said Justice Served NC Executive Director Diana Powell as she sat surrounded by Hinton's family members Thursday evening in Raleigh.
Hinton's portrait was hanging on the living room wall as his aunts, uncles, cousins, and daughter's mother gathered to give their thoughts 24 hours after Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman informed them that Hinton's death was not simply a drug overdose.
The medical examiner's report found that while there was cocaine toxicity in Hinton's system, the death is believed to be a homicide.
"We knew that it was some fouls play," said Hinton's cousin Tonya Stephens-Pulley.
#BREAKING: Family and advocates of Kyron Hinton believe he was murdered for the legal settlement money he won from the police brutality case against the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/t2Qc3qGlsG— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) May 30, 2019
She said the family first suspected the death was suspicious when they went to identify the body in February.
"When we saw him and saw the scratches on him and to look at him, he had been through something," Pulley said. "Something had been done to him physically."
The medical examiner found neck injuries consistent with a homicide.
But who would kill him?
In ABC11's one-on-one interview with Hinton one year ago, he was open about his struggles with mental illness and drug addiction.
And after he was awarded $83,000 in a civil settlement with the Wake Sheriff's Office for the beating and K-9 mauling in Raleigh last year, the family suspects the people Hinton thought were his friends killed him for a piece of the cash.
"(Hinton's) attorney had given him $10,000 on that Friday. So he died Saturday, but yet no money is found on him," Pulley said about her suspicions Hinton was murdered and robbed.
Raleigh Police are now investigating the case as a homicide.
The district attorney is pledging to prosecute if detectives find the killers.
Hinton's family used the news conference to underline a fact they think has gone missing in the coverage of Hinton saga: Kyron Hinton's life mattered.
"We're just hoping now that Raleigh Police, in their investigation, treats him like the human being that he was, the loving person that he was," said Shannon Utley, the mother of Hinton's 8-year-old daughter.
If you know anything that could help police find who killed Kyron Hinton, you can leave an anonymous tip at Raleigh Crime Stoppers: by phone: 919-834-HELP (4357) or by text: Text your anonymous tips to 274637
"It is time for our community to speak up and stop being silent," Powell said. "This is not the time to say I'm not snitching. This is the time to speak up. Because if not, it's going to continue."