WikiLeaks offers $20,000 reward in connection with DNC staffer's death as conspiracy theories fly

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WikiLeaks Offers $20k Reward In Mysterious Murder of DNC Staffer

The conspiracy theorists who believe former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich's July death was somehow linked to corruption within the agency received new ammunition this week when WikiLeaks announced the group would offer $20,000 reward for information about the man's death.

"Whistle-blowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said during an interview on Dutch television on Tuesday. "As a 27-year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington."

SEE MORE: Wikileaks denies it's trying to hack Trump's tax documents

D.C. Police have reported that evidence suggests Rich's July 10 shooting death was part of a botched robbery. Internet comment threads have run wild in recent weeks with speculation that he may have played a role in the DNC's leak and paid for that role with his live.

RELATED: See photos of Rich and his memorial

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Seth Rich, former DNC staffer shot dead in D.C.
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Seth Rich, former DNC staffer shot dead in D.C.
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 4: Mary Rich, the mother of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich, gives a press conference in Bloomingdale on August 1, 2016. Seth Rich was gunned down in the DC neighborhood a month ago and the Rich's were imploring people for any information they may have about his killer. (Photo by Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Photo of Seth Rich, from his memorial Facebook page. 
Photo of Seth Rich, from his memorial Facebook page. 
Growing memorial on the corner where #SethConradRich was murdered. Neighbors paying their respects. https://t.co/yHTeKopxv7
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When pressed, Assange reiterated that WikiLeaks never reveals sources, saying that there was "no finding," but that the groups' sources "take risks."

Police have said there is no evidence that links the murder to Rich's position at the DNC, where he served as director of voter expansion. Joel Rich, Seth Rich's father, has said the killing did not appear to be a robbery, since his son was found with both his wallet and watch.

WikiLeaks released thousands of emails from the DNC less than two weeks after Rich's death, creating chaos at the convention in Philadelphia and adding to fervent speculation that the party rigged the election to favor Hillary Clinton and hinder Bernie Sanders.

SEE MORE: FBI probes hacking of Democratic congressional group

But Rich's family shied away from the speculation on Tuesday.

"We're grieving the death of our 27-year-old son," Joel Rich, Seth's father, told The Omaha World-Herald. "The police are trying to investigate what's happening."

"The family is in constant contact with authorities and thank them for their extremely thorough investigation," Rich family spokesman Brad Bauman added. "The family believes this matter is being handled professionally and with the seriousness that it requires."

"That said, some are attempting to politicize this horrible tragedy, and in their attempts to do so are actually causing more harm than good and impeding on the ability for law enforcement to properly do their job," Bauman continued. "For the sake of finding Seth's killer, and for the sake of giving the family the space they need at this terrible time, they are asking for the public to refrain from pushing unproven and harmful theories about Seth's murder."

D.C. Police have already offered a $25,000 reward in connection with the case.

Update: A spokesman from the Rich family provided the following statement:

"The entire Rich family is so heartened by the outpouring of support and love that they have felt over the past few weeks as they continue to come to terms with this terrible tragedy. The family is in constant contact with authorities and thank them for their extremely thorough investigation. The family believes this matter is being handled professionally and with the seriousness that it requires.

The family welcomes any and all information that could lead to the identification of the individuals responsible, and certainly welcomes contributions that could lead to new avenues of investigation. That said, some are attempting to politicize this horrible tragedy, and in their attempts to do so, are actually causing more harm than good and impeding on the ability for law enforcement to properly do their job. For the sake of finding Seth's killer, and for the sake of giving the family the space they need at this terrible time, they are asking for the public to refrain from pushing unproven and harmful theories about Seth's murder."

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