CHICAGO (CBS) — More than two years after 15-year-old Demetrius Griffin Jr. was burned to death, community and faith leaders are increasing the reward for information to find his killer.
Griffin’s body was found in a burning garbage can in an alley in the South Austin neighborhood in September 2016. An autopsy later determined he had been burned alive.
Months after the murder, his family and friends set up a fundraiser to provide a reward for information leading to the killer. On Tuesday, Rev. Ira Acree and other community and faith leaders will announce that $10,000 reward has been increased to $15,000.
Griffin, a freshman at Steinmetz College Prep, had just started his first year of high school and wanted to join the swim team.
His family said he had walked a girlfriend home from school, but he never returned home. The alley where his body was found was between school and home.
Griffin’s family said they have made it their mission to keep the unsolved case in the public’s eye; not only so they can ultimately get closure, but in hopes of saving other children from violence.
His aunt spoke to CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov last fall, as she made her monthly pilgrimage to the site where Griffin was found dead.
“Can you imagine the screams? Burning him alive? And you did nothing?” said Sykes, blaming the streets’ code of silence and saying police have not been able to find any new information in the unsolved murder case. “How can they pay the attention to this case that it needs if they are constantly called away because someone else has been murdered.”
Sykes said she will not rest until Griffin’s killer is found.