PANAMA CITY — Jason Headley said that he believes he was put on this earth to protect his baby brother. And that he failed.

That’s why the Ocala man, who spent many of his early years in the Panama City area, has offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for Brian Headley’s death last year.

Brian, whose nickname was Pnut, was just 38 when he was found dead in front of a group of townhomes on Venitian Way on Oct. 11, 2019.

His body was discovered about 8 a.m. by another resident of the complex.

"I’m hearing bits and pieces from different directions," Jason said in a phone call to the News Herald. "People know more than they’re letting onto. If it takes $15,000 to nudge them in the right direction, that’s a very small price to pay."

Official details on Headley’s death are still scarce since the case is under investigation.

Whit Majors, director of operations and chief investigator for the District 14 Medical Examiners Office, said he should be able to release details on the death soon.

"The case is pending and we should be closing it at least by Friday," Majors said.

Majors added that death cases typically take this long to finish.

"Typically it takes three to four months," he said.

Jason and Brian were just 13 months apart in age.

They were best friends. Brian was the best man in Jason’s wedding. They were partners.

"He was my everything," Brian said, apologizing for breaking down. "I was put here to protect him and I failed him because I came (to Ocala) because of work. I failed him."

At the time of his death, Brian was an oyster shucker on the beach, who was trying to buy a boat so he could take his 8-year-old son fishing. He also had a 17-year-old daughter.

The last time the two men talked, it was about that boat and some problems Brian had run into with the paperwork.

Jason wants what he can never have — his brother back again. But even to know what happened to him would bring the family some peace.

"It would help the family as a whole as far as having some type of closure," he said. "Thirty-eight years old. He was looking at having grandbabies in a few years.

"He just went way too young."

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