Mayor Duggan: Deontae Mitchell killed after picking up $70
DETROIT (WJBK) - Police and the medical examiner have still not revealed how 13-year-old Deontae Mitchell was killed but they do believe they know why: Mayor Mike Duggan said he was killed after picking up $70 in cash off the ground.
Duggan and Police Chief James Craig held a joint press conference on Friday to discuss the details in the heinous case. Three adult men and an adult women are now all in custody for the kidnapping and death of the boy.
The unimaginable crime of taking the life of a child has left Chief Craig and many members of the police department at a loss, but it didn't stop them from finding their suspects. Mayor Duggan credits the community with making sure the people they say are responsible are in custody.
"You don't go from someone committing a crime like this at 1 am Wednesday to having them in custody in another state Thursday without help from the community. The officers said they've rarely seen anything like this." Duggan said.
Duggan said the boy was killed over $70 that the boy picked up off the ground on Tuesday night.
"The story of Deontae being senselessly killed over a small amount of money is one that's going to stay with us a long time," Duggan said.
Gregory Walker, 45, was the man in the surveillance video. He can be seen dropping $70 outside of Nino's Market on the city's east side. Deontae picked up the cash and that's when his cousin said Walker came back and kidnapped him at gunpoint. As Deontae was being forced into a car, he said his final two words to his cousin: 'help me'.
"We're talking about a defenseless young man and an adult who was, frankly, three times his size," Craig said.
Police said after Walker took him, he came back with the gun, yelling and screaming. Craig believes he may have been searching for his cousin. Duggan said the people who have seen the surveillance video should all be thinking of their own families.
"Every parent in this community who saw that video of Deontae being pushed into that car, you thought about your own children," Duggan said.
A memorial has been set up just feet away from where Deontae's body was found - in a field near Harper and Baldwin.
Police Chief Craig said the only way to end the violence is for the people of Detroit to come together.
"When people come together and we say enough is enough, that's when change happens," Chief Craig said.
Police are still unsure when Deontae was killed and the cause and manner of his death are still under investigation. Earlier in the day, the medical examiner said his body did not have any gunshot wounds.
Four suspects have been arrested: Walker, Ernest Coleman, Roy Portis, and - according to a source - Lillian Roberts, the Ohio woman who was with Walker when he was arrested at a hotel in Toledo.
Police say charges are expected soon for all four suspects.