Crime-fighting kiosk could help solve cold cases
GENESEE CO., Mich. (WNEM) - Pain has found a permanent home in Artecia Howard’s heart.
On Jan. 26, 2021, her only son, 28-year-old Damareius Howard, was shot dead outside a store on Fenton Road near 12th Street in Flint.
“I have no answers as to why he’s gone or closure as to who killed him. And it’s just, you know, it’s just a hole that does not close,” Howard said.
There have been no leads, no tips, and Damareius’ case has gone cold. Howard is now one of more than 150 unsolved homicides in Genesee County featured on a new visual display at Berston Field House in Flint. A new Crime Stoppers community and crime-fighting kiosk have been placed in the lobby.
“There’s unsolved crimes on there, wanted fugitives, and a screen that flashes every 10 to 20 seconds,” Crime Stoppers Director Julie Lopez said.
Lopez said the images displayed on the screen could catch the eye of someone walking by who could be holding a crucial clue to help solve a case.
“It changes with all of this information to make the community aware of what is going on, and then there’s a scan code that if they want, they can do a QR code and walk away and submit a tip,” Lopez said.
The kiosk is prominently placed in Berston Field House, a community center in Flint offering classes in several activities.
“We have a lot of traffic here,” said Valerie Horton, director of Berston Field House. “If just one person were to see the kiosk and be able to call in and give a tip to help solve the crime, it’s worth it.”
The kiosk was purchased through donations and fundraising. This is the first of its kind in Genesee County and it cost $5,000.
Lopez said if she can purchase more than one at a time, the price goes down.
“These are a valuable tool. Crime Stoppers is available for people who are afraid of retaliation or don’t want to talk to the police for any reason,” Lopez said.
Lopez hopes to place more kiosks in high-traffic locations throughout the county, like the Flint Farmer’s Market. Her goal is to get businesses to sponsor the kiosks.
Artecia Howard wants her son’s case to be seen by more people and she supports placing more kiosks throughout the region.
“We parents that have lost our children need answers. If there’s someone out there that has answers, it’s not a bad thing to help somebody get closure and you can be anonymous,” Howard said.
If you have information that could help solve a crime or know anything about the shooting death of Damareius Howard, you can submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-422-JAIL or online at CrimeStoppersofFlint.com.
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