Wikileaks ignites conspiracy theory, raises reward in murder mystery

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is looking into the death of a DNC staffer (KTRK)

Mystery surrounds the death of a Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot on a street in Washington, D.C.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is raising questions about the killing of Seth Rich, offering a big reward for information, and that is fueling political conspiracy theories about the murder.

In a new interview with Assange, he seemed to reignite conspiracy theories about Rich's death, saying, "Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material, and often very significant risk. There's a 27-year-old who works for the DNC, who was shot in the back -- murdered."

Although Assange would not say whether Rich was a Wikileaks source, the organization is now offering a $20,000 reward.

It was an unprompted discussion of the 27-year-old voter outreach coordinator, who was violently attacked on July 10 near his Washington, D.C. home, while chatting on the phone with his girlfriend. His body was found badly beaten, with multiple gunshot wounds, described by investigators as a robbery gone wrong.

While Washington, D.C., police tell ABC News, "There is no indication that Seth Rich's death is connected to his employment at the DNC," conspiracy theorists suggest Rich may be connected to the tranche of e-mails leaked by Assange's group just before the Democratic Convention, also implying Rich could have been involved in the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server, despite denials by the agency.

Rich's parents say they welcome the reward and any help catching his killer, but are strongly denying any connection between their son's brutal murder and politics or conspiracy. Their statement reads, "Some are attempting to politicize this horrible tragedy, and in their attempts to do so, are actually causing more harm than good," adding they are asking for "the public to refrain from pushing unproven and harmful theories about Seth's murder."
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