Reward Increases In Unsolved Murder Of Boy Burned To Death In 2016

Bernie Tafoya
February 19, 2019 - 1:33 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A reward has been increased for information leading to the death of the person or people responsible for the horrific murder of a teenage boy on the West Side in the fall of 2016.

The body of 15-year old Demetrius Griffin was found burned beyond recognition in a garbage can in an alley behind the 5500 of West Cortez.

The reward for information in his murder has been increased by $5,000 to $15,000.

His aunt, Rochelle Sykes, has not given up trying to get justice. She said she hands out flyers every month hoping to find someone who knows something. 

"Can you imagine one of your children yelling and screaming because they’ve been set on fire? That should bring chills down your spine. It should make you want to say, ‘enough is enough!'"

Sykes calls the killer, "a monster."

Reverend Marshall Hatch, pastor of New Mt. Pilgrim MB Church, said the Steinmetz High School freshman was a member of his church’s youth group.

"This, indeed, is Chicago’s unfinished business and it’s the unfinished business under the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel," he said.

Reverend Ira Acree of the Greater St. John Baptist Church, said "the person who caused Demetrius’ death in the barbaric manner in which he was killed.....that person needs to be brought to justice."

Chicago police say the murder investigation is still an "open" and "very active" investigation. Sgt. Michael Malinowski asks anyone with information to call Area North detectives at 312-744-8261 or provide info anonymously at

An image of Demetrius Griffin is among several images of children--"urban martyrs" according to Rev. Hatch--who are depicted on a new stained glass Sankofa Peace window that will be officially dedicated Sunday.