The shooting death of former Simeon star Demarius Reed is the third unsolved student murder in Washtenaw County, Michigan in less than a year. Authorities said Friday they do not believe the killings are connected.
But having three heavily-publicized open murder cases on their plate is taxing local law enforcement resources and straining the perception of safety.
The first murder of an Eastern Michigan University student occurred in an off-campus apartment ten months ago. Julia Niswender, 23, was found drowned in her bathtub with no evidence of a break-in at the Ypsilanti apartment on December 11. No motive or suspects either.
The second unsolved southeastern Michigan murder was this man, Paul DeWolf. It also occurred in Washtenaw County, but at University of Michigan in nearby Ann Arbor. DeWolf, a medical student, had been shot once in the neck and was found in his Ann Arbor home on July 24. No motive or suspect in this case either. A friend of his spoke with Good Morning America at the time.
"Just how he loved everyone, regardless. He taught me to be a better, more caring person, and I love him for it," said Jason Halterman, Paul DeWolf's friend.
And now, in the same county jurisdiction, 20-year-old Chicago native Demarius Reed is found shot to death at an off-campus apartment building, as was Ms. Niswender just ten months ago. He was a standout football player. She wanted to be a broadcaster who before dying met her TV hero Anderson Cooper.
Again, on Friday there is no thought by police that these murders are connected by anything more than proximity and the calendar.
But for students at two campuses in Washtenaw County, Michigan, their parents and loved ones, until all three unsolved homicides are cleared, they will be connected by fear and uncertainty.