Randolph Co. mother maintains son’s death was no accident

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — A Randolph County mother is making it her crusade to solve her son’s “mysterious” death.

Jesse Maness’ death was ruled an accident, but his mother maintains it had to be murder and she’s not giving up her fight, she told WTVD.

Maness, 24, was found in October 2012 after being missing nearly a week. His car was found overturned in a creek along Buffalo Street in Bennett, near the Randolph County/Chatham County line.

car3Maness vanished after a night out with friends in Siler City.

An investigation revealed Maness ran off the road into the creek and drowned, but Kathy Gaines doesn’t buy it. She claims he was murdered.

Gaines says she doesn’t understand how searchers missed seeing his car. She told WTVD that Maness was found in different clothes than he’d worn out that night.

Gaines believes Maness was killed somewhere else and dumped at the scene just before he was found.

car2“There should be an investigation,” said Gaines. “My son deserves an investigation.”

The sheriff told WTVD, “We have investigated any complaint or allegation Mrs. Gaines has brought forward and it’s been thoroughly investigated by our agency and other agencies. There has been no credible evidence to point to anything other than a tragic automobile accident.”

man5However, Gaines and her family say there’s new evidence. She says someone came to her home and said they were a witness to his murder.

After an investigation, the Highway Patrol determined the witness was not credible, according to WTVD.

The Randolph County District Attorney’s Office wants the SBI to review its investigation, and assume all responsibility for the case going forward.

Gaines started a Facebook page to bring awareness to Maness’ death.

Read more: WTVD


  • chucky1992

    I would be interested to hear what the investigation revealed. If it was murder they should be able to tell. They said it was drowning. Could they have compared the water in his lungs to the water in the creek or have I been watching too much CSI? In either case, I hope his mother finds the answers she needs and they give her closure.

    • Kathy

      Chucky, that is exactly one of the things that doesn’t make sense. Clear water was found in his lungs. But not enough to indicate that he had drowned, The water in the creek is heavily sedimented. So much, that you can’t even see 3 inches into the water. When I asked the ME if the water that was found in his lungs could be from this creek, she said no. So, I asked had there been a comparison of the actual creek water and the water in his lungs. They had not done that. She said they did the minimal amount of testing because they were told that he was found upside in his car in the creek. His car was on the dry bank and Jesse was found 30 feet upstream. I asked the ME if Jesse could have crawled out of the car and dragged himself to that location. She said there was no possible way. There was no dirt under his nails, no scrapes on his arms or legs, plus he had a fractured pelvis that would have made it impossible to go that distance. We don’t need CSI to see that Jesse was pulled out of the car and put in the water under the bridge. Good point. Thank you for sharing.

  • Beckie

    Just because the boy wasn’t found when he first disappeared, doesn’t mean that he wasn’t shacked up somewhere and crashed his car three days AFTER he went missing……

    • angie staley

      I encourage u to read the full story that was not told on air please go to change.org browse jesse maness . He was found no pants on no shoes and one sock. Please just take time to read it after u do u will see why we know it was no accident

  • Kathy

    Becky, if you knew all of the circumstances, you would understand why Jesse wasn’t “shacked up” somewhere and then crashed his car three days later. The possibility of him being somewhere else during the six days that he was missing was explored. However, evidence determined that he died the night he went missing. The mystery is where was he, and why was there no decomposition of his body after 6 days. Then why was he found with no clothes in a creek where several witnesses stated that they had searched earlier in the week? Read other details of Jesse’s case on change.org

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