The brutal murder of 25-year-old Keyona Griffin and her aunt Cherletta Baber-Bey shocked the city of Grand Rapids in March 2019. What was most chilling about this tragedy was Keyona’s terrified 911 call, pleading for help even as the shooter remained inside the home. Though three police officers arrived promptly, they did not enter the house or make contact.
Tragically, by the time they returned over two hours later, Keyona was dead. As friends and family still grieve, the hunt continues for the prime suspect – Cherletta’s boyfriend Derrell Brown. This post will explore who Keyona Griffin was, how she spent her final moments, and what the investigation has uncovered about the alleged killer who took her life.
Who Is Keyona Griffin?
Keyona Griffin was a vibrant 25-year-old woman who loved posting selfies showcasing her radiant smile to the world. She was born in 1994 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to parents Onyah Griffin and Johnny Griffin. Known for her kind spirit, Keyona enjoyed spending time with her aunt Cherletta, who was like a second mother to her, and they both loved each other very much.
She also relished her role as the beloved big sister of Sanford Cummings II. Though quiet, Keyona had begun coming into her own before her life was tragically cut short by her aunt’s boyfriend. According to reports, she was studying in a college at the time of the crime and stayed home to prepare a project rather than going out with her mother.
While Keyon belonged to the Afro-American ethnic group, she had American citizenship by birth. Also, she had a lot of friends in the city who, when she got to know about the news, rushed to her place. Despite calling 911 before the incident happened, the slowness of the police department cost her life, and she was strangled to death.
What Happened To Keyona Griffin?
On March 13, 2019, Keyona Griffin called 911, terrified as a shooter roamed inside the Grand Rapids home she shared with her aunt Cherletta and brother Sanford. Though details were muffled, the 911 operator discerned gunshots had already been fired. Keyona warned her aunt was likely dead before crying out, “Can you just hurry up, please,” “I’m fittin’ to die… He’s tryin’ to kill me. He already killed my auntie. Can you hurry up, please?”.
Three police officers arrived within minutes but did not enter, as they did not hear signs of an active shooting. They soon left without making contact. Two hours later, Sanford discovered his sister’s body and called 911 again. Keyona had been shot four times. Tragically, she died just moments from potential rescue, still clutching her phone with the lifeline number on display.
Who Was Derrell Brown? – The Prime Suspect In Keyona Griffin’s Murder
Derrell Demon Brown, 46, has been the sole person of interest in the Griffin/Baber-Bey murders. Brown was Cherletta Baber-Bey’s boyfriend, whom she met at the library months earlier. Charming at first, his behavior grew controlling and volatile. After finding “prison love letters” Brown wrote to Cherletta, investigators believe a confrontation over jealousy became violent and deadly.
Shell casings matched the empty box for the firearm Brown owned. With a warrant out for his arrest, Brown disappeared after the murders and is wanted for two charges of open murder. Friends urge anyone who spots this dangerous fugitive still walking free to contact police immediately so that Keyona and Cherletta’s grieving loved ones may finally receive justice.
In a Tweet posted on July 25, 2020, the official account of the Grand Rapids Police Department announced that Derrell Brown is on the run and he could potentially be in the Columbus, OH, Milwaukee, WI & Atlanta, GA areas. According to the authorities, they are offering up to $25,000 in rewards to the person leading to the arrest or information related to him.
Keyona 911 Call Transcript and Murder Update
The frantic 911 call made by Keyona Griffin captures the horrific final moments before her violent death. On the call, Keyona whispers that her aunt Cherletta has been shot dead, begging for first responders to hurry while the killer still roams the house. Crying and desperate, her last words are a heartbreaking “I’m next!” before two gunshots ring out, and the call ends abruptly.
Though the police arrived promptly, they did not enter the home. Tragically, by the time they returned hours later, Keyona was deceased from four gunshot wounds. Nearly four years later, the murderer of Keyona and Cherletta remains at large. However, investigators continue to pursue justice, recently increasing the reward to $25,000 for information leading to the capture of suspect Derrell Brown.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
While everything about the Keyona Griffin and her aunt Cherletta Baber-Bey’s murder is available on the internet, there might be some questions unanswered. Don’t worry; we have answered the most common questions asked related to their murder.
Can We See Keyona Griffin Crime Scene Photos?
While the Grand Rapids police department has released body camera footage of officers responding to Keyona Griffin’s 911 calls for help, they have released only a few of the incident photos of the inside of the house. Many websites like crimesandconsequences.com and subreddits have shared similar photos, and we recommend watching them with respect.
Keyona Griffin What Happened To Her?
On March 13, 2019, 25-year-old Keyona Griffin was murdered steps from escape and safety in her own Michigan home. Keyona had been chatting happily with her aunt Cherletta just minutes before 47-year-old Cherletta was fatally shot by boyfriend Derrell Brown. Hearing the gunshots, Keyona hid and called 911, but later, she was shot 4 times, likely while on the phone begging 911 to send help.
Is Derrell Brown Found After He Committed The Crime?
No, shockingly, the sole suspect in the 2019 Griffin/Baber-Bey murders remains at large nearly 4 years later. Immediately after the women were gunned down in their Grand Rapids, MI, home, Brown disappeared without a trace. Investigators describe Brown as dangerous, volatile and potentially armed. Recently, the US Marshall Service increased the reward for information leading to Brown’s capture to $25,000.
What Will Happen If Derrell Ever Get Caught?
If suspected murderer Derrell Brown is captured, he will immediately face two charges of open murder. Open murder allows a prosecutor to pursue either first or second-degree murder depending on what the investigation evidence supports. If convicted of first-degree premeditated murder, Brown could face life without parole.
Is There A Keyona Griffin Movie Available?
While Keyona Griffin’s chilling final 911 call and the mysteries around her murder have captivated true crime audiences on Reddit threads and crime blogs, as of late 2022, no full documentary or movie has been specifically produced about her case. Many have noted that the tragic failures surrounding police response – arriving so swiftly, yet still too late to save a young woman actively seeking lifesaving aid – lend an urgency to demanding attention.
The murder of Keyona Griffin stands as a devastating tragedy – the loss of a beloved daughter, sister, niece and friend; a young life of promise cut abruptly and violently short. The failures surrounding Keyona’s unanswered 911 calls for help compound the injustice done over two hours passed as she likely clung to life, still waiting for rescue.
Nearly four years later, her suspected killer, Derrell Brown, remains free while Keyona’s family continues grieving without closure. You can keep visiting the Certain Doubts website, as we will keep this post updated with more information on the case. If you know something that we have missed, do share your views with us via the comments below.