Homicide victims and missing persons whose unsolved cases are honored at Detroit memorial

Detroit — Even though it's been almost 37 years since Edward Sayers was fatally stabbed 32 times in his Detroit apartment, his younger sisters still hope police will find the killer.

Beth Krebs said she is encouraged that Detroit police investigators have reopened the Aug. 21, 1987, murder in the four-unit apartment building at the corner of Greiner and Pelkey ​​near Gratiot, East from the city.

“The police are handling the case and we have continued to follow it ourselves all these years,” Krebs said. “Our brother was a good person. He came from a great family and we miss him a lot.”

Krebs and her sister Ruth Kondrat attended the second annual Detroit Police Department's Never Forgotten memorial service Friday for loved ones of people who were victims of unsolved homicides in Detroit or who went missing and were never found.

The memorial, which took place in the plaza in front of the Spirit of Detroit statue, was organized by the Detroit Police Department's homicide unit. Signs bearing dozens of Michigan Crime Stoppers posters with photos of murder victims or missing persons whose cases remain unsolved were placed in front of the scene.

“We just want to make sure that the families know that we haven't forgotten about them and that we are working diligently on these cases,” Homicide Capt. Donna McCord said. “Don’t give up because we don’t give up.”

Detroit Police Chief James White recently beefed up the police department's cold case squad, which has been disbanded and reactivated several times over the decades. He said “several” officers and civilians had been assigned to look into old cases.

“I want families to know that you are not just a statistic or a number to (cold case detectives),” White told the crowd that represented 15 homicide victims or missing persons. “Each of you is a human being; a person who is close to his heart and who devotes a lot of work to these issues. I've had many of these people in my office and seen how happy they are when doing business. an arrest and can bring justice to you and your family.

White, who is a licensed mental health counselor, said if an arrest is made, “it won't bring you peace and it won't bring you joy. It won't make the pain go away. But it will give you some of joy.” degree of closure. »

Patty Waling, whose brother James Waling was killed in Detroit on July 30, 1989, said she has given up hope that the case will ever be solved.

“I’m just here for him,” Waling said after joining the crowd in holding up electric candles during a moment of silence. “He was a great guy. He had a three-year-old daughter; she's doing well now.”

However, the eight-year-old son of homicide victim Jarmar Barrett is struggling to cope with the fatal shooting on July 16, 2022, said the victim's mother, Lisa Barrett.

“He’s taking it hard,” Barrett said of her grandson. “He had to see a counselor. It was hard on all of us.”

Kondrat said she and her sister will never stop investigating their brother's murder.

“He was a good human being, he didn’t deserve this,” Kondrat said. “It was just terrible. And here we are 36 years later, still trying to understand it, still trying to solve it. Sometimes you see one of these old cases is solved. That's why we don't give up not. “

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