CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of mostly moms is partnering with police. They are organizing an effort to get leads in cold cases, including some of their loved ones’ cases.
The group has been around since 2007. They plan to go into different communities that are part of cold cases, bringing family members and police officers along.
It’s the ninth year Tonya Burch is returning to distribute flyers and talk with neighbors at 61st and Green.
Her son, 19-year-old Deontae Smith, was at a 2009 block party at 61st and Green when a fight broke out. Then someone in the crowd started shooting.
Hundreds were there, but no one has come forward, and now a street sign marks his memory.
“That’s where he fell and died,” Burch said. “Heart throbbing, emotional, all kind of thoughts running through my mind.”
Pam Bosley, of the group Purpose Over Pain, said this is part of the first weekly effort for grieving families to try to get tips, and perhaps closure in their loved ones’ cold cases.
“We just want to be able to sleep at night knowing the person who murdered our children are off the street,” she said. “Sometimes people will open up to us but the detective’s not there. So that’s why we bring the detectives with us this time. So that they can get the same answers we’re getting.”
Bosley said she hopes the new partnership with Chicago police will help solve cases.
Most canvassing have lost a family member to gun violence. They help pass out flyers and provide needed emotional support.
“A lot; to the point at one time I cried so much I didn’t think I could cry anymore; but the tears continue to fall,” she said.
“If we get one, two leads, that’s awesome. We want it. We’ll take it,” Bosley said.
Organizers said a break in a case is well worth the potential emotional pain of revisiting a scene
After three months, they plan to meet with the Chicago Police Department to see if their efforts are leading to results.