Lack Of Funds Puts Cold Case Unit In Jeopardy 9-24-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Lack Of Funds Puts Cold Case Unit In Jeopardy 9-24-2010

Verna Howard proudly displays her son's pictures throughout her home, but after seven years she says it's still hard to talk about his death.
Deshone Howard was 21 when he was murdered. His mother said she has no closure or any answers about his death.
"It's hard," she said. "Some days it seems like it just happened."
That's where the Saginaw police department's cold case homicide unit comes in.
Detectives are working to find the person responsible for Deshone's death. But work on his case and many others could soon stop when a grant to fund the team runs out.
"If the grant doesn't get renewed -- obviously we're going to have shut down the team because we won't have any money to fund it," state police detective Marvin Jenkins said.
The unit applied for a new grant, but it hasn't heard anything yet and the current one expires in less than a week.
Without the grant, Verna is afraid she'll never get the justice her son deserves.
"I don't want him to tell me he doesn't want to work on my case or any others because he doesn't have the funds," she said.
Verna's son was shot in Birch Park in 2003. Police have never made an arrest in connection with his murder.
The cold case unit does have a strong record at cracking cases. Since it was formed in 2008, detectives have made four homicide arrests, and three more are pending.
"I just pray the grant keeps coming," Jenkins said.
The $500,000 grant is funded by the National Institute of Justice.
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