5 months later, murder of 15-year-old burned in dumpster still unsolved

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Demetrius Griffin Jr., 15, was a freshman at Steinmetz College Prep. (WLS)

Five months after 15-year-old Demetrius Griffin Jr. was found dead and burned in a dumpster on the West Side, his mother still waits for answers.

"I'm destroyed. They took my only son away from me. And my days are getting harder. They're not getting easier. I just need someone to help. Please," said his mother Polly Sykes.

Griffin was found burned beyond recognition in the 5500-block of West Cortez, just steps from his home. Firefighters found the body while responding to what at first glance was a garage fire on Sept. 17, 2016.

A freshman at Steinmetz College Prep and a member of his local Boys & Girls Club, Griffin had a strict curfew. When he missed it that night, his mother knew something was wrong.

The person or persons who killed him are still at large.

"This is not normal," said Rev. Walter Jones, of New Mt. Pilgrim MB Church. "We don't want to become desensitized with what's coming, but right now these things are happening so rapidly. It's kind of hard not to worry about what's going on in our communities these days."

The reward for any information that leads to an arrest was increased to $10,000.

On Sunday, family, friends and neighbors released balloons into the air, then canvassed the streets around Griffin's home with fliers hoping, this time, someone will come forward.

"We have a monster out there. Nobody's child is safe. If you know anything, you can call 911. You don't have to give your name. We need to break that code of silence," Griffin's aunt Rochelle Sykes said.

Police did not comment on case, however, investigators have said the person who set the fire may have suffered burns.

Related Topics:
firedeath investigationhomicide investigationbody foundAustin
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