Friends of Tucker Hipps, the 19-year-old Clemson student who was found dead in the shallow waters of Lake Hartwell, say they want answers. So they’ve turned to the popular fundraising website GoFundMe for help.
Janice White, a longtime Hipps family friend who Tucker affectionately called his aunt, said the idea came to her and her colleagues when they decided they wanted to help find justice for Hipps and his family.
“It’s not going to bring Tucker back, but it will at least help find out what happened,” White said. “Raising money will up the ante so we can find answers for Gary and Cindy (Hipps).”
White said she met Cindy Hipps through the medical field in 1980. She was there when Cindy and Gary Hipps found out they were going to have a child, and she was there when Tucker was born.
“When he walked into a room, he owned it,” White said. “He would hug everyone and talk to everyone. Then when he left, he would hug everyone again.”
Investigators with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office still have not made any information public regarding their investigation of Hipps’ death. Hipps was found dead on Sept. 22, 2014 beneath a bridge that spans Lake Hartwell between Pickens and Oconee counties.
The money raised from the GoFundMe page will be used to supplement the Crimestoppers’ reward of $2,000 which was made in the months following Hipps’ death. White said she hopes the additional money will spur anyone with information to come forward and reveal exactly what happened to the Clemson sophomore the night he died.
After two days, the page has already received $1,300 from 17 different donors.
White said if Crimestoppers does not use the money, it will go to Palmetto Boy’s State, of which Hipps was a longtime member, or the college fund Rock Springs Baptist Church. Hipps was a devoted member of the congregation.