Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Extra Crispy Body found burned in trash can identified as 15-year-old Colored boy - Steinmetz student Demetrius Griffin Jr.
Demetrius Griffin Jr.'s body was found after police got a call for a trash fire about 1:30 a.m. Saturday in the 5500 block of West Cortez Street in the South Austin neighborhood, officials said.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office said the cause and manner of death have not been determined. No one was reported in custody, but police said whoever set the fire may have suffered burns.
A prayer vigil is to be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday where his body was found on Cortez, according to community activist Dawn Valenti, who spoke with Demetrius’ family, including his mother, Polly.
The mother told Valenti that Demetrius had a curfew. When he missed it Friday night, she became alarmed because it was out of character, she said. When he didn't answer his phone, the mother said she knew something was wrong.
Valenti said family had gathered at the boy's home before official notification of the identification.
"She told me, ‘I know that’s my son,' " Valenti said. “Everybody was just waiting around and she’s thinking that it was her son. And knowing if it wasn’t him, it was somebody else’s child or loved one.”
Then came the notification. “That’s her baby. That’s her only son,” Valenti said. “They have a really close family.”
Valenti said she sat with the mother at her kitchen table, learning about the handsome boy with light brown eyes. He had just graduated eighth grade and started recently at Steinmetz.
“Everybody loved him. He talked to everybody. He trusted everybody,” Valenti said.