This is an excruciatingly painful story. But it’s an important story involving a church failing to help alleged abuse victims. And it illustrates how power imbalances can result in horrific outcomes in our court system.
The situation involves allegations of child sexual abuse and the purported murder of a student enrolled at Grace Christian Academy. Anglican Watch has thoroughly investigated these claims and believe they are accurate. We also believe it is likely that Grace Chapel, which has ties to the school, covered up these issues.
At the heart of this story are four people. They are:
- Aaron Solomon, a well-known former news anchor in Nashville.
- Aaron’s son, high school baseball star Grant Solomon, who some believe was murdered by his father for attempting to protect his younger sister.
- Aaron’s daughter, Gracie, who says her father sexually assaulted her.
- Aaron’s former wife, Dr. Angie Huffines Solomon.
Aaron is a well-known former news and sports anchor in Nashville.
Aaron obtained custody of Grant and Gracie after an acrimonious divorce from his wife, Dr. Solomon.
Subsequently, Gracie fled to her mother’s home with Grant, a rising baseball player at Grace Christian. Grant told multiple people prior to his death that he was afraid of his father and had not been alone with him in two years.
Grant also allegedly told others that, when he turned 18, he would file suit against his father for abusing his sister. This timing, Grant thought, would make him a more credible witness.
Grant also complained to Grace Christian School leaders about issues with his father. In this recording, made before his death, Grant tells school officials that it’s “almost too late” to address his father’s abuse.
July 20, 2020 — Grant dies in suspicious circumstances
On July 20, 2020, Grant got up early. He asked his mother, “Are you home today?” She replied, “Yes, why?”
Grant’s answer was chilling: “I don’t want to die in Gallatin today,” he said. Tellingly, he had not seen his father in a while and feared for his safety.
Grant then jumped in his white pickup truck, Tennessee license plates CJC-885, and drove about an hour to Ward Performance Institute (WPI) on 1357 S. Water Street in Gallatin, Tennessee, to work on his baseball skills.
What happened next is the subject of debate.
Some accounts say Grant’s father met him en route to WPI. Others say his father pulled in behind him when Grant arrived at WPI.
In any event, we know both Grant and his father arrived at WPI at approximately 8:41 AM. They allegedly parked near the building on a hill above the street.
At 8:44 AM, Aaron called 911 to say he had received a work email and looked down at his phone for a few seconds. Then, while engrossed in his email, he heard a crash and looked up to see that Grant’s pickup truck had rolled down the hill and that Grant was underneath it.
That’s a troubling statement.
While Grant was under his pickup truck, emergency responders say it was impossible to see Grant except by getting alongside the truck and looking up into the underbody. Yet Aaron claims he could see his son’s body from high up on the hill — a statement that seems impossible.
The emergency responders arrived soon after Aaron’s 911 call and raised the truck, which was not physically resting on Grant, and extricated him. Grant was still fighting for his life but was uncommunicative and unresponsive.
Grant went into cardiac arrest shortly before being placed in an ambulance. The paramedics began CPR and fought valiantly to save him, injecting Grant with three doses of epinephrine and using a defibrillator.
But their efforts were in vain, and shortly after arriving at the hospital, Grant was pronounced dead on arrival. His body was still warm, and doctors documented several minor bruises and a gaping wound on the back of his head. However, there were no significant abrasions or lacerations.
The last part is critical.
It’s essential because pathologists and medical experts we consulted consistently state that being dragged by a vehicle results in severe abrasions, often down to the bone, and typically arms or legs are torn off. (The autopsy photos we reviewed of other decedents are too gruesome to reprint.)
Additionally, burns from the catalytic converter and exhaust system are standard. And pathologists typically find multiple simultaneous causes of death.
Because of this lack of evidence that Grant was dragged or hit by his pickup truck, our experts consistently concluded that a second party was involved in Grant’s death. As one put it, “There simply is no other possibility.”
Anglican Watch staff members also have first-hand experience with these issues. Without going into details, Grant was NOT — repeat NOT — dragged by his pickup truck. Full stop.
So how did Grant wind up with a single fatal wound to the back of the head? We may never know, but we do know that Grant’s baseball bat, in his truck when he left home that morning, went missing. It remains missing to this day.
We are also mindful that a subsequent investigation by an independent investigator found traces of blood inside the cab of Grant’s truck. And we are puzzled by the lack of blood at the scene; head wounds bleed like crazy, yet only small amounts of blood were found near Grant’s body. And to our knowledge, no blood or human tissue was found in the parking lot.
As to the assertion by the Gallatin police department that the pickup’s rear bumper, which was bent up, makes clear that Grant’s pickup rolled into the ditch, that is 100 percent hogwash. Given the lack of other damage to the vehicle, the bending of the bumper almost certainly happened as first responders lifted the front of the truck in an effort to save Grant.
Thus, we believe it likely that Grant was struck in the head by an assailant at a remote location, dumped still alive in the ditch where he was found, and his pickup truck driven over top him, even as he fought to live.
Other details of the father’s report don’t add up:
- Aaron claimed his son was face-up under the truck even before Grant was pulled from underneath. But as stated previously, he could not have seen this from his vantage point. And later, Aaron falsely said that his son was lying sideways underneath the truck.
- Aaron claimed that he and his son had regularly played baseball before his death–despite the fact there is no evidence of any contact between the two before Grant’s death. And given his fear of his father, it is unlikely that Grant would seek out opportunities to spend time with Aaron unless absolutely necessary.
- Aaron refused an autopsy.
- Aaron reacted strangely when Grant’s girlfriend reported that the Life360 locator app she shared with Grant showed that Grant’s phone was wandering around the accident scene and later traveled around the area.
- Grant, who always called his girlfriend when he arrived somewhere, did not call her that morning.
- There are no marks in the grass where his truck allegedly dragged Grant. And tire marks suggest that the truck came in from the road versus rolling down the hill. Nor was the underside of the truck damaged.
- While most parents are eager to be rid of a vehicle that caused a child’s death, Aaron kept and drove his son’s truck. That is, until he suddenly convinced an insurance adjustor to total it, despite the fact there was no significant damage, and tried to unload it through an auto auction.
- Aaron’s claim that his son’s cellphone was found by someone who charged it and became a Christian due to his experiences doesn’t hold up. We have been unable to find any evidence of a conversion, and we know the cellphone was not charged by anyone during the period between Grant’s death and his father’s retrieving the phone. And while the cellphone was intact at the time of Grant’s death, it later came back with severe damage to the screen, consistent with having been hit by a hammer. And guess who retrieved the cell phone? Yup, Aaron.
- Per emergency responders, Grant’s truck was found in park. This is inconsistent with reports that it rolled through the parking lot. Yet Aaron has stated he did not touch the truck.
Several additional factors suggest that Aaron murdered his son. These factors include:
- Statements to that effect by Grant’s younger sister, his friends, and his mother.
- Conflicting accounts of what transpired that day that Aaron provided to others in the following days. These include claims that Aaron was talking with his son from the grass above the truck after the accident. Yet photos of the extrication do not reflect this.
- An absence of drag marks or scuffs on Grant’s clothing, which was given to his mother after his death.
- Grant’s father’s alleged statement against interest, stating that he killed his son and was “living in hell.”
- Testimony that Grant had seen content on his father’s computer that was concerning and possibly illegal.
Perhaps most concerning is that family members and friends claim that Grant went to his pastor shortly before his death to seek help over his sister’s ongoing sexual abuse. Yet the pastor denies this, claiming Grant wanted information on how to be “closer to Jesus.”
With all due respect, if your father is raping your sister, getting closer to Jesus will not be your top priority.
We thus suspect that the pastor, known to be friends with Grant’s father, lied about the meeting and may have even tipped Aaron off about his son’s efforts to protect his younger sister.
We also are mindful that Grant had always said he would go to court to protect his sister when he turned 18; his birthday was just weeks before his death. Thus, his father had a possible motive to kill Grant.
There are many additional details we could share. But for now, we will say that while these are all allegations and unproven, Anglican Watch finds the evidence that Grant’s father murdered him compelling and overwhelming. We have zero doubt that Grant was murdered.
Gracie’s allegations of sexual assault by her father
Grant’s younger sister, Gracie, was allegedly sexually assaulted by her father.
Allegations began when Gracie was very young and included questionable activities while Aaron bathed his daughter. Not surprisingly, these claims were initially dismissed as misunderstandings.
Over time, it became clear to Grant, his mother, and family friends that the situation was severe and ongoing and that their father was raping his younger sister.
Gracie’s video pleading for help, which she posted on YouTube, is below.
Again, we find Gracie’s statements convincing and have no doubt as to the veracity of her story.
Following Grant’s death, Aaron sued numerous individuals who raised questions about his son’s death for defamation. The case, filed in federal district court, was dismissed with prejudice.
Even uglier was the conduct of Grant’s former school and church, which sent cease and desist letters to various persons to try to shut down criticism. Later, the church claimed it didn’t demand anything but rather asked — a claim starkly at variance with the content of the letters it sent. And recall the recording of Grant, in which he told school officials it was “almost too late,” to help.
Perhaps a bit more concern for Grant and his sister and less about the school’s reputation would be helpful.
Advocates eventually raised these issues with the Tennessee state governor and a newly elected attorney general. But, unfortunately, they both refused to get involved and claimed that Grant’s death was an accident–even though the medical records leave zero doubt that Grant was not dragged by his pickup truck.
How can we help?
Anglican Watch is formally asking federal law enforcement officials to step in. The local police investigation and reports were laughable and local and state officials appear to be working together to prevent a meaningful investigation into his death.
Meanwhile, although Gracie now lives with her mother, both fear for their safety. And the courts have improperly labeled Dr. Solomon an “abusive litigator” and issued an injunction prohibiting her from filing any additional legal actions against her former husband. That, despite the fact local officials have confirmed that Gracie is being sexually abused by her father.
If you’d like to learn more, there is an online treasure trove of information about this horrible situation at https://www.freedom4gracie.com. We highly recommend the site for an appalling example of how badly our justice system can oppress, rather than aid, victims.
Additionally, Dr. Solomon and her daughter are raising money to help with their legal bills and advocacy efforts. Those willing to help can visit their GoFundMe site here.
And we will continue to report on this situation, including the results of our referral to federal law enforcement officials. Hopefully, by working together, we can raise awareness of this horrific situation and help bring justice and hope to this family.