Private investigator takes on 2013 controversial cold case murder

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A private investigator is working to solve a nearly five-year-old cold case murder in Madison County that is the subject of a a controversial investigation. Jason Klonowski, an outspoken critic of the Madison County Sheriff's Office, was found murdered at his Harvest home in November 2013. In the weeks before his death, Klonowski vowed to keep the pressure on the Sheriff's Office after his friend Robert Bryant was beaten by deputies.

A former deputy went to prison in connection with Bryant's case and the County settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Madison County Sheriff's Office is the lead agency investigating Klonowski's death. The Sheriff's Office requested the Huntsville Police Department to take over the investigation this week.

However, the police chief refused to take the case saying his agency would not be the proper agency to investigate if there was an impropriety in how the sheriff's office handled the investigation.

Now Huntsville Private Investigator Dawn Hendricks is on a mission to solve a murder she says gets more complicated as each day passes.

"Every 24 hours that goes by, there's more information that is unbelievable to me," said Hendricks.

She started looking into Jason Klonowski's death in early June. Hendricks' resume includes serving as a Secret Service Agent, Huntsville Police Officer, and Madison County Sheriff's deputy.  She says the Klonowski murder case is unlike any case she's seen before.

"Very complicated. It's a deep case. It's got many things that just seem off. As far as for somebody that's been in law enforcement and you know how things normally go. In this case, there's nothing that's going like how I have ever known for a case to go," said Hendricks.

Back in 2013, Sheriff's deputies responded to Klonowski's death, but it took nearly two days for the case to be called a homicide. Investigators believe Klonowski had been shot multiple times in the back of the head a few days before the body was discovered.

"It's going to be someone that it's going to be someone close to Klonowski, that it was going to be somebody that knew him. So I'm going on those leads, I'm going on that," said Hendricks.

Hendricks believes there are several people out there with information about Klonowski's murder.

"Especially if you're in a law enforcement capacity and you had your suspicions and you didn't come forward. Shame on you. Shame on you, because that's what you're there to do," said Hendricks.

The private investigator vowing to never give up, until the case is solved.

"Taking a stand against something that you felt was wrong, he, Jason Klonowski, can never do that again, never. He doesn't have his voice. So, I'm that," said Hendricks.