Sahara Sriraman, Contributing Writer
A billboard was placed on West Marshall Street for the unsolved murder of VCU student Cody Woodson, almost 10 months after his death.
The billboard, which has been a joint project between The AWARE Foundation, an entity that helps families find out information about missing or deceased loved ones, and the Richmond Police Department, was unveiled on Jan. 11 near where Woodson, 20, was killed.
The billboard includes a picture of Woodson and reads: “$5000 reward for info leading to arrest” and “Who murdered Cody Woodson? April 5, 2021 on Gilmer St.”
The Richmond Police Department’s public relations office confirmed that there have “been no arrests made in regards to Cody Woodson’s death at this time.”
Angie Wright, Woodson’s mother, said that she hopes the billboard will lead to some information about her son’s death.
“I hope that somebody comes forward with some kind of answers and lets us know what happened to Cody, and brings us some kind of closure,” Wright said.
Wright said the purpose of the billboard, to her, is to keep her son’s name in public discussion until the RPD gets more information about what happened to him that night. She worked with The AWARE Foundation and the RPD to get the billboard up.
“It gives me hope that it’s not just a name people are hearing – Cody Woodson,” Wright said. “Now, they have a face to tie with the name.”
Wright said that the Department of Computer Science will be presenting her with Woodson’s diploma that he would’ve been given this May and she’s so proud to be receiving that in his honor.
Kenny Jarels, the president and founder of The AWARE Foundation, said the foundation started working on the billboard in October and wanted it to be close to where Woodson was killed. He said the purpose of it is to encourage anyone who has any information about Woodson’s death to contact the police.
Jarels said the foundation has been working with the RPD on the project, specifically the lead investigator on the case, Detective James Higgins, and consulted with the department before unveiling the billboard.
Jarels said The AWARE Foundation hopes that the billboard will motivate anyone who has any information about Woodson’s death to contact the police.
“We’re hoping that someone will have a conscience or someone saw something that night that maybe they didn’t think was important to the case at the time,” Jarels said.
Anyone with information about Woodson’s death should call Detective Higgins at 804-646-7570 or Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.