Today marks the one year anniversary of the date that a Knox County teenager, my son Henry, was found by paramedics just before noon on a weekday inside the residence of two unrelated adults who could not offer any reasonable explanation for how they knew this teen, why he was in their home, or how he'd ended up in such terrible condition.

When EMS arrived,my son was suffering from opiate overdose, and he was unconscious, badly bruised on his face and chest, bleeding extensively from both ears, and he had aspirated his own vomit. Henry was not expected to live long enough to make it to the hospital, but he managed to survive 38 painful days before ultimately succumbing to the hypoxic brain injury resulting from the overdose.

On the same date last year, another Knox County teenager named Amber Blizard was found dead of an overdose inside the residence of unrelated adults who similarly had no reasonable explanation for what had happened to this 19 year old Pellissippi State student other than to say she'd just fallen asleep on a couch and died. Amber's mother got the knock on her door from KPD at just about the same time on this day last year that I got the call about my own child.

Two of this community's teenagers were fatally injured in the same way on the same day, both under unquestionably suspicious circumstances. One year later, no arrests have been made in either case.

To mark this terrible anniversary, our family has launched a new petition asking that Knox County Sheriff Jimmy "JJ" Jones and Knox County District Attorney Randy Nichols redirect their agencies' resources in good faith to finally conduct the high quality, unbiased and professional criminal investigation that we know they are capable of.

If you would take just a moment today to read and sign this new petition, and to share it with others, our family would really appreciate it.

Knox County is in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic of unprecedented magnitude. It's time for law enforcement, prosecutors and the public health system to prioritize this critical issue as the emergency it has become, and to work together in a strategic way. In the case of law enforcement and the DA, we ask that they use the tools already available to them within state and federal criminal statutes to get dealers who kill off the streets before they kill someone else's teenager.

Thank you. We truly appreciate the support we have been given as we continue to advocate for Henry's case, and for all of the drug overdose victims whose cases have for too long been ignored and dismissed.

To learn more about our son Henry's case, or to discuss the case with members of our family, please visit

-Katie Allison Granju
Knoxville, TN


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