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Reward at $15,000 after teenager was burned alive

Announcement Comes Before Dedication of Sankofa Peace Window

Crusader Staff Report

The reward for the arrest and conviction of the killer(s) who burned a teenager alive on the West Side two years ago, has been increased to $15,000.

Faith and community leaders made the announcement on Tuesday, February 19 at the New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church in West Garfield Park.

Demetrius Griffin, 15, was burned alive in the Austin Community in the Fall of 2016. His body was found in a garbage dumpster the day after he walked his girlfriend home, according to his aunt, Rochelle Sykes.

According to Sykes, the Cook County Medical Examiner in an autopsy report concluded that Griffin died from serious burn injuries while his body was on fire. Sykes said Griffin’s body was burned beyond recognition and his family was forced to have a closed-casket funeral. Those details added more pain to Griffin’s family, who for the past two years, haven’t received any closure as the case remains unsolved. Faith leaders want the case solved before Mayor Rahm Emanuel leaves office.

“It’s a shame that the Chicago homicide clearance rate is less than 20%, and that’s one reason we have seen this chaos in our streets. Demetrius Griffin’s heinous murder must be solved and those responsiblemust be brought to justice before we can move on…this is Chicago’s unfinished business,” says Pastor Marshall Hatch, the Sykes-Griffin family minister.“Hadiyah Pendleton’s case is solved. Blair Holt’s murderer is behind bars. Even Laquan McDonald has gotten a measure of justice. But here we are two years later, and there is no justice in sight for Demetrius Griffin. His life matters too,” declares Pastor Ira Acree of the Greater St. John Church and Co-Chair of the Leaders Network.“Our family cannot heal as long as justice is not done,” says Rochelle Sykes, aunt of Demetrius Griffin.

The increased reward announcement will be made in the church’s sanctuary ahead of the upcoming dedication of newly installed stained glass church art, “Sankofa Peace,” that features the likenesses of the four little girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing during the Civil Rights movement, as well as the public domain likenesses of contemporary young martyrs of Chicago’s violence epidemic.

For More Information Contact Rev. Marshall Hatch 773-909-5051 or Rev. Ira Acree 773-339-8590

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