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Reward increased to $15,000 for info on 2016 murder of teenager burned to death 2/19/2019

Nearly two and a half years after 15-year-old Demetrius Griffin was burned to death on the West Side, his family has announced the reward for information about his killer has increased to $15,000.

Griffin, a freshman at Steinmetz High School, was found inside a burning trash can in the Austin neighborhood on Sept. 17, 2016. Officers discovered his body when they responded to a call of a refuse fire in the 5500 block of West Cortez Street.

The teenager’s death was ruled a homicide and an autopsy later determined he had been burned alive. His case has remain unsolved.

New contributions from community and faith leaders increased the reward from $10,000, Griffin’s aunt Rochelle Sykes said Monday.

Sykes said her family continues to be “heartbroken” by her nephew’s death.

Griffin’s image — along with those of four other child victims of Chicago violence — is included in a stained glass window at the West Side New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, 4301 W. Washington Blvd. The window, Sykes said, will be officially unveiled Sunday.

Sykes said it’s important that people don’t hear about these cases and forget. For low-income families from poor neighborhoods, Sykes said, homicides are all too often “swept up under the rug.”

“That’s not right,” Sykes said. “No child deserves what he got. My family has no closure … and this city is doing nothing.”

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