BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A gathering was held in Battle Creek on Saturday afternoon to remember the lives of the victims of unsolved homicides and to encourage residents to take a proactive approach in helping the Battle Creek Police Department solve these types of cases. 

There are more than 60 unsolved homicides in Battle Creek dating back to 1968. 

The names of the victims were read aloud at the gathering, which featured the family of those victims and BCPD personnel. 

Rosetta Brewer organized the event. Her son Frank Williams III died because of gun violence in 2006. 

“We feel each other’s broken hearts,” Brewer said. “So, it’s easy for us to communicate better with each other than with anybody else.”

Like other parents in attendance, she is pained by not having the closure that comes with a case being solved. 

“My son got murdered on Jan. 9, 2006, in Battle Creek city limits,” Brewer said. “They know who suspects are but because no one will come forward that is an unsolved murder now.”

Her son was a 25-year-old father of three when he died.

“My grandsons are 16 at this time and it’s a lot of questions being asked,” Brewer said. “I live with this every day.”

Scott Marshall, BCPD’s only cold case detective, says he has come close to solving some of the cases but he needs the community’s help. 

“We can have DNA, we can have evidence, but we still need community support (and) witnesses coming forward,” Marshall said to the crowd.

The detective and the mother mourning her son’s death say it’s important for community members to rethink their definition of snitching. 

“Somebody out here knows about everyone’s murder, and they won’t speak,” Brewer told the crowd. “That’s what bothers me the most, and they won’t speak because they say it’s snitching. It’s not snitching.”

“Snitching may happen between two people committing a crime,” Marshall added. “It’s not snitching when you are part of the community, and you know something happened, but you want to turn a blind eye to it. Once we move away from that we’ll build more traction.”

Brewer plans on making the event an annual occurrence. 

Additionally, Brewer helped create a support group called S.I.S.T.E.R.S. (Sharing in the Support of Those Enforcing Victims’ Rights Shamelessly) to help the family members of violent crime victims heal.