2 deaths in Grand Rapids home ruled homicides

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police have released the names of the two women found dead in a Grand Rapids home Wednesday and said both died of gunshot wounds.

The Kent County Medical Examiner has ruled the deaths of Cherletta Baber-Bay and Keyona Griffin homicides, the Grand Rapids Police Department said.

Baber-Bay, 47, and Griffin, 25, were found dead in their home on Sheldon Avenue south of Logan Street SE around 1 p.m. Wednesday. Officers went there after getting a 911 call from someone inside the home.

GRPD is still looking for person of interest in the case, 45-year-old Derrell Brown. Police say they want to talk with him about his knowledge of or possible involvement in the incident.

“Thirty-six hours later, we still do not have anyone in custody, so our message to the public right now is that we have reason to believe that this person is somehow connected to this investigation. We do consider him dangerous and we don’t recommend the public try to approach him or talk to him about our interest in this investigation,” GRPD spokeswoman Sgt. Cathy Williams said Thursday.

Police said Brown and Baber-Bay had been dating and that Brown also lives in the home where the homicides happened. No one has heard from him since before the Wednesday 911 call.

He goes by a number of aliases, including Darryl Robinson, Carter Brown, Derrick Brown, Michael Richardson, Marcus Wright and Jay.

“That definitely makes the investigation more difficult,” Williams said of the aliases. “Not only are we searching our databases for someone, but we’re having to search by four, five, six, seven names and those are only the ones we know about. If someone is frequently using aliases there may be others out there we don’t even know about yet.”

Anyone with information about the homicides or where Brown may be is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

Brown has a criminal history in Ottawa and Kent counties, including for violent crimes. In 2006, he was charged with felony assault.

He also has a history of domestic violence. Court documents outline a brutal assault of his then-live-in girlfriend in 2005. The documents say that he bound her with cords, kicked her in the face, gagged her, urinated on her and doused her with lighter fluid. All the while, her four children — one of whom is also Brown’s child — were sleeping upstairs. She got away the following morning by getting on her daughter’s school bus and asking the driver to take off.

The woman filed a report with GRPD, but said in court that she didn’t want Brown to get in trouble because he needed help and she didn’t think prison was the best option.

Ultimately, a judge ruled there was enough evidence to send the felony kidnapping case to trial, but it ended in a guilty plea. Brown was ultimately convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

—24 Hour News 8’s Lynsey Mukomel contributed to this report.

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