The trustees of the Balls Creek Campground are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of any individuals responsible for a 2019 fire at the campground.
Recil Wright, the chairman of the campground trustees, said they are offering the reward in hopes of creating some momentum around the case.
“We want to make sure that basically all the leads are going to be followed and that’s nothing to say … about the sheriff’s department but it’s just that we thought we would try to stir the bushes a little bit,” Wright said.
The reward will only be paid out following a conviction.
Tipsters will have until the end of this year to provide information to be eligible for the reward, even if the conviction comes later. The trustees are imposing the time limit in hopes of creating some sense of urgency around the case.
The reward would split in the event that more than one person provides the lead, according to the digital flier posted on the campground website.
The September 2019 fire destroyed or damaged nearly 50 of the 295 wooden homes that campers refer to as tents. The historic campground has been the site of a major religious and social gathering for nearly 170 years.
Catawba County Sheriff Capt. Aaron Turk said Tuesday the office had no additional information to share on the case. He added that the investigation is open and the office is working with the Catawba County Fire Marshal’s Office, State Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Kevin Griffin is the city of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.