GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — On June 11, 2022, 7-year-old Jeremy Thompson Jr. died of a fentanyl overdose.
Grand Rapids police are investigating, but three months later there have been no arrests. The family mourning the 7-year-old is demanding justice and answers.
Jeremy Thompson Jr., whose nickname was Duece, loved gaming, fishing and riding his bike, his family says. He had just finished first grade at Martin Luther King Leadership Academy.
“Duece was a happy kid,” his aunt, Rose Lewis, told News 8. “He was a good kid.”
She said the thing he loved the most was his family.
On June 11, Duece’s grandmother received a phone call: Her grandson was unresponsive. She told Lewis, who started rushing to the hospital.
Before she got there, her dad called.
“I answered the phone and my dad said, ‘He’s gone,'” Lewis said. “What happened? We want answers. Nobody’s giving us answers.”
“Where is his justice, where’s his voice? Who cares about him?” she said. “I don’t understand how a 7-year-old died, June 11. Three months later, there has been no arrest.”
The family found out the cause of Duece’s death three weeks ago. Toxicology tests have confirmed he died of an overdose of fentanyl, an opioid so potent the United States Drug Enforcement Administration says an amount equal to 11 granules of salt can be fatal for an adult.
While Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker confirmed to News 8 there is an ongoing investigation, the family says it has not received any updates. The prosecutor would not give News 8 any details nor comment on any potential suspects.
Before his death, Duece had been living for four years with his grandmother and his father, Jeremy Thompson Sr.
Lewis said his mother “didn’t want to be a mom.”
But his mother, Briasia Allen, had recently gotten an apartment near 32nd Street and Eastern Avenue SE and told the family “she was ready to be a mom,” Duece’s grandmother, Mary Jones Thompson, said. Thompson Sr. told Jones it didn’t sit well with him, but the family agreed to let Duece stay with his mother.
A few weeks later, Duece died.
“She decided she wanted to be a mom and then he ends up dead,” Lewis said.
“I let my son down,” Mary Jones Thompson said. “That’s what I truly honestly feel. I let him down and I should have took him on his word.”
Lewis said it’s not the grandmother’s fault.
“My mom (told Thompson Sr.) to give her a chance and that’s why my mom is carrying guilt as if it’s her fault, but it’s not. But he didn’t want to let him go,” Lewis said.
Heartbroken, the family is now searching for justice.
“I think some justice need to be done for him,” Mary Jones Thompson said. “What about Duece, what about Duece? How do you feel life should just go on? That’s a child, a 7-year-old baby.”
— Target 8 investigator Susan Samples contributed to this report.