Emotional Prayer Vigil Held For 15-Year-Old Found Burned In Austin

CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s raw grief coming from the family remembering a 15-year-old found shot and burned in an alley in South Austin.

As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reports, there was a very emotional vigil held in honor of high school freshman Demetrius Griffin, Jr., attended by family, community and police, who are now in search for his killer.

“They killed my baby out here in this alley,” his mother, Polynesia Sykes said.

Returning to the South Austin alley, the 15-year-old’s charred body was discovered early Saturday. His family says they knew something was wrong when he missed curfew.

“My son was a beautiful kid. He wasn’t a gang member. He was a very respectful kid…he walked everyone in the neighborhood’s dogs,” Sykes added.

Dawn Valenti, a crisis responder made a plea to any suspects. “If you are out here and you see this and you are listening..look at what you did to this family..this kid was 15-years-old.

“This is very different..when you take one and burn their body to where it is unrecognizable,” 37th Ward Ald. Emma Mitts said at the vigil.

The 15-year-old had just started high school and wanted to join the swim team.

But his class picture is now a memorial.

“We need one less bullet, one more gun to jam we need one more life to matter,” a minister said at the vigil.

Police are telling the community that whoever is responsible for the crime may have suffered burns to their arms. The Chicago Police Department asks anyone with any information that could lead to an arrest to call them.

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