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In the fall of 2020, Jason Fox was a 19 year old kid who had grown up in Newport, Washington. The small city is a gorgeous slice of PNW pie complete with mountains, rivers, and forests. Everything the Evergreen State is famous for.
But Jason, a creative, loving and kindhearted kid, was harboring a secret. He worried if he revealed it he wouldn’t be accepted, and like most teens, acceptance was the thing he craved more than anything else.
And he was right to be concerned. Newport, a conservative place near the Idaho border, is more red than blue when it comes to its politics.
Jason came out when he was 18 years old, sort of. In a move to be more accepted, Jason told Newport friends he was bisexual. He thought that would be easier than telling the truth: that he was gay.
When Jason was 19 he started experimenting with drugs. His parents were worried, not only about the drugs but about a new, older crowd he was hanging out with. People he had a troubling history of clashing with.
Even so, a couple friends from that group invited him to party at the Timber River Ranch, about five miles outside of town. By day the ranch was over 50 acres of rustic beauty and tranquility. But the night that Jason rolled down the long, dirt driveway he was never so alone and isolated. Jason’s parents believe that’s exactly why he was lured to this location.
Jason sent a text just after midnight on September 15th, 2020. It was the last text he would ever send. Three weeks later his body was found in a shallow grave.
Four men have been charged with murder in connection with his murder. But, the motive is unclear. Jason’s mom believes it was a hate crime.
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