What happened to Millard Earl Jr.?

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 4:27 PM EDT
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HONEA PATH, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An Upstate family is fighting for answers five years after a Honea Path man was killed in an unexplained motorcycle crash.

Construction workers found the body of Millard Earl Junior when they reported to work on July 22, 2017. His wrecked motorcycle was a few feet away.

SCDOT had closed that portion of Highway 252 near Armstrong Road in Honea Path to make repairs.

No one knew how he got there or why. Five years later, the same questions linger.

“That was my heart honey. That was my heart,” Millard Earl Junior’s mom, Jackie Cowan said.

Snapshots of Millard Earl Junior’s life are displayed in a cabinet in Cowan’s living room. From football awards won at Belton-Honea Path High School to his college diploma, to pictures of the little league coach, and the dad of five girls, Cowan wants people to remember her son’s life instead of his death.

“They never saw none of this so I said I was going to put that out there. Maybe somebody would come forward if they knew how much he had going for him,” Cowan said.

Cowan will never forget the day she got the call that her son was gone.

“You got to go day by day. It’s been five years for me and lord knows, it seems like it just happened today.”

Investigators initially said Earl tried to jump over a pile of gravel on his motorcycle.

“I don’t know how long my child laid there. I don’t know who found him. I don’t know nothing. All I know is it took me nine hours to see my child once he had the accident,” Cowan said.

Earl’s mom said she knew something was off from the beginning. Her push for answers prompted investigators to reopen the case.

“I think he was chased. No accident. No nothing. I think my child was chased and hit from behind,” Cowan said.

Honea Path Police Chief Shawn Boseman said it’s still an active and ongoing death investigation.

The family is offering a $10,000 reward, Next month, they plan to put a billboard up near the crash site on Highway 252.

Cowan hopes this will help investigators find the missing piece.

“A piece of me is missing. I need justice for Junior. If I can get justice for him I’ll be okay,” Cowan said.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.