The coroner's office is calling the death of a man pulled from the White River near Broad Ripple in October an accidental drowning, but the man's mother is prepared to take matters into her own hands in order to keep the investigation going.
Two months have gone by since Julie Kvinge last hugged her son, 23 year old Walton "Matt" Ward, but she says nothing has gotten easier.
"It's getting much harder for me, and I think even for his father and sister," Kvinge said. "Not having having any answers.
Julie spearheaded a search for her son after he spent a night out in Broad Ripple on October 12th and never came home. Nine days later she got the one answer she was dreading, someone discovered his body in the White River. Though her son's ashes sit on her mantle, and the police investigation looks to be nearing an end, she remains driven by his death.
"I am convinced that someone murdered my son," Kvinge said.
IMPD detectives are not convinced. The Marion County coroner's office informed Fox59 News on Thursday that they have deemed Walton Ward's death an accident. Noting that he died of asphyxia due to drowning.
Kvinge said detectives never told her about the coroner's determination. Though the autopsy found no signs of foul play, but she says too many questions remain unanswered.
"Someone knows what happened," Kvinge said.
Surveillance video from Peppers bar and the Mine Shaft revealed where Walton spent time the night he disappeared, but Julie later learned that LandSharks bar was the last place he was seen.
Though there is no surveillance video from Landsharks, Julie says detectives told her Walton was escorted out of the bar at 1:20am by a bouncer. She says detectives admitted that they hadn't had a chance to interview that bouncer.
Ten minutes later a 911 call came in from Walton's cell phone but lasted just one second.
"I think it's critical that we talk to that bouncer and establish what was going on, who he was with, why he was escorted out of the bar," Kvinge said. "We are yet to know anything."
More than a week after discovering Walton's body in the White River, Julie says somebody turned his cell phone into police after reportedly finding it in the bushes at the top of the river bank near Applebee's in Broad Ripple.
"It wasn't down next to the water, so someone had to have taken that phone from him," Kvinge said. "He was trying to make a 911 call to truly ask for help and somehow someone cut that call short."
Julie has now started a Facebook page called "Justice for Walton "Matt" Ward", and she says she won't stop pushing for answers even if she has to hire a private investigator.
"I can't bring Walton back," Kvinge said. "But I can try to get justice for him and I can also try to prevent this from happening to another young man."