By Jessica Clark
First Coast News
PALATKA, FL -- As a child, Stephen Richardson had some memorable glasses.
"He had these coke-bottle glasses. He looked like a goldfish," Richardson's mother, Pam chuckled. "He had these gorgeous blue eyes, and everybody would just see his eyes."
Pam Richardson said her honor-roll child overcame a learning disability, attended Florida State University, and had recently started teaching at Interlachen High School.
He was up for a new teaching job in Orlando.
Mrs. Richardson told First Coast News that her son came to the Putnam County area "because a lot of these children didn't have any privileges, and he thought he could make a difference."
Many people -- including neighbors -- admired Mrs. Richardson's friendly, comedic, gourmet cooking son.
Richardson talked to his mom everyday on the phone, so when Richardson did not pick up one day in July -- she knew something was wrong.
She was right.
25-year-old Richardson had been stabbed to death inside his own apartment at Barrington Apartments in Palatka.
"I have to assume that whoever could have done this to him did not know him well enough," Mrs. Richardson said, holding back tears.
The case remains unsolved.
Photos found inside Richardson's apartment that were released to the media have pulled in no strong leads.
Detectives say the case is difficult because many people they're encountering believe in 'not snitching' -- or not telling police crucial information about the crime.
Detective Mike Lassiter with the Palatka Police Department said, "There's this code of silence people are going by. They know what happened. They might have even seen what happened, but they're refusing to come forward with it."
Mrs. Richardson told First Coast News, "Hopefully, in a very short time, someone will have the guts to get up and do the right thing because he deserves that."
"I'd like some answers. I'd love some justice," Mrs. Richardson added.
Richardson's family and friends have raised money to add to the Crime Stoppers reward.
The reward now sits at $3,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
If you know any information that can help detectives, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS.
First Coast News