Tyler Perry has announced a $100,000 award for information regarding the murder of an openly gay Grenadian musician.
Back in June, Josiah “Jonty” Robinson was found dead on BBC beach in Morne Rouge, Grenada.
Days after the tragic discovery, a source told local news outlet The New Today that the cause of death was due to “manual strangulation with injuries to the cervical spine.”
Over the last few weeks, LGBTQ+ activists have speculated that Josiah was targeted and murdered for being gay.
On 26 July, the Why Did I Get Married star took to Instagram to upload a heartbreaking post spotlighting Josiah, who he said was “like a son” to his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure.
“A few days ago, I got an extremely heartbreaking phone call from my friend, Yvette Noel-Schure. Through her tears and grief she was telling me that in her home country of Grenada, a young man that was like a son to her was murdered,” he wrote.
“My soul ached as she shared that he was a young, gifted singer who was murdered because he was gay. My mind immediately went to Mathew Shepard, and all the other victims of racist, homophobic, antisemitic, xenophobic, senseless violence.”
After highlighting several similar cases, including the unexplained passing of his nephew three years ago, Perry announced that he and Yvette would be giving out a $100,000 award for information regarding Josiah’s murderer.
“The pain of not knowing is truly gut-wrenching. So with that said, Yvette and I are offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who brings forth information that leads to the conviction of the murderer of Josiah “Jonty” Robinson,” he said.
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“Please pray for his mother and Yvette and all of those that loved him, as well as every family who has been impacted by senseless violence.”
In addition to Perry’s post, Josiah’s life was highlighted in a British Vogue piece written by the late singer’s friend Tenille Clarke.
“For 24 short years, Jonty chose to live his life fully: not as a retaliatory actor of defiance, but in an elevated awareness of freedom, with wisdom that belied his young age,” Clarke wrote.
“As an outspoken, openly gay man born and raised in the countryside of St Andrew’s Parish in Grenada, Jonty experienced the world around him with great adulation, joy, curiosity and hope.”
Clarke went on to say that while Pride Month and LGBTQ+ identities are celebrated in various places like New York and London, Josiah’s LGBTQ+ activism in the Caribbean was not always welcomed.
“The harsh truth is that his approach to activism in the Caribbean as a member of the LGBTQ community – his voracious desire to live in his simple, beautiful truth – often became a cyclic matter of life or death,” she wrote.
“This did not deter Jonty, nor did the hurtful, threatening experiences ever change his mind about the essential goodness of humanity. Instead, it simply encouraged him to let love lead his legacy.”
Perry has encouraged anyone with information about Josiah’s murder to contact The Criminal Investigation Division at +1-473-440-3921.