(WXYZ) — For the first time, families of murder victims in Highland Park are uniting in a call to get their loved ones' killers off the street.
In an average year, Highland Park Police say there are between one to three murders. But, since the start of this year, there have been eight, leaving more families desperate for answers.
Opening up about losing her daughter Nevaeah Christian to gun violence in Highland Park nearly 5 months ago, Felicia Thompkins recalls when a doctor delivered the crushing news.
“I knew by her body language that my baby wasn’t here anymore. It’s just like all a blur from there,” said Thompkins.
Someone robbed Nevaeh in Detroit earlier in the day, her money and cell phone stolen, clues Felicia shared with Highland Park detectives.
“I gave the detectives everything I could give them that was in my possession, everything that I had,” she said.
Felicia tells us Nevaeh had a bright future, the 19-year-old was eager to pursue classes in nursing while running her own beauty business. But she says her murder at Rosa Parks and Grove has left the family feeling hopeless.
“I barely sleep at night. I wake up the same time every night at 2:30 to 4:30. The time frame this happened to my baby,” she said.
Another family is also in heartbreak over an unsolved killing of 42-year-old Anthony Grimmett Jr.
A street racing hit and run on March 22 was captured surveillance video near Hamilton and Louise, showing the driver never stopped after striking Anthony. That’s after seeing police and taking off at a high speed.
“It’s 6 months now. I mean they haven’t called us and said we found the car or have some leads or tips,” said Dionne Grimmett, Anthony's sister. "We cry every night. Every day. Anger. When I called MSP, they said they had no clue about what I was talking about.”
Highland Park police agreed to talk with us about both cases and say Michigan State Police are in fact helping to investigate Anthony’s death while detectives also wait for forensic evidence to return from a lab in the case of Nevaeh’s killing.
"We don’t have a suspect, but we have a bunch of leads. Once we get all the info back, we’ll have a solid answer,” said Highland Park Police Chief Kevin Coney.
The chief says these cases remain top priority and delays aren’t based on shortage of resources or lack of effort.
Despite crime increasing in Highland Park and nationwide, he’s adamant work is being done 7 days a week towards tracking down those responsible.
"We are passionate about what we do, and it’s not like we don’t call back or don’t care ... we are doing our due diligence to find out who did any kind of crime. A murder of course is higher on our priority list,” said Chief Coney.
If you can help with these cases or any others, your tip could be the one that leads to justice. Call Highland Park Police at (313) 852-7338.