Police renew push to find double murder suspect

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police are renewing their plea for help in finding the man they believed murdered two women in a southeast side home last year.

Cherletta Baber-Bey and her niece and best friend Keyona Griffin were shot and killed in March 2019 at the same home where two people died in a fire over the weekend.

The fire victims were identified as Jackie Baber-Bey and her 5-year-old grandson E.J. Cummings.

The tragedy hitting the same family twice was among the reasons the Grand Rapids Police Department publicly renewed its plea to find the man suspected in the 2019 homicides. Police say they suspect Darrell Demon Brown killed the women and has been on the run ever since.

“This is not an incident that we’re going to forget anytime soon. This was a horrendous crime to two great people who certainly did not deserve any of this,” GRPD Sgt. John Wittkowski said. “This family has gone through so much. So we have this double homicide that happened last year and now we have a house fire that took two other family members — the same house, the same residence. Enough is enough. This family has suffered far too long.”

While Wittkowski said he believes Brown is capable of hurting others, he said he is not suspected of being involved in the fire. Investigators said they think the fire was the result of an accident, though the effort to pinpoint a cause continues.

Police say they have no idea where Brown, who faces murder charges, might be. They describe him as “smarter” than most criminals and believe he is actively working to avoid arrest.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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