Family seeks justice for son, 18, killed on Memorial Day
Southfield — A young Detroit man was discovered dead by a friend on the city's west side a little over a month ago, and now his family is seeking answers with the help of Crime Stoppers of Michigan.
Jalen Hogue, 18, was found dead about 9:30 a.m. May 28 — Memorial Day. The incident took place at a house on the 15700 block of Mansfield, between Midland and Pilgrim Street.
Hogue was buried on a day that should have been one of celebration.
"He would’ve turned 19 on his birthday, but instead of us celebrating his birthday, we mourned the loss of him," Hogue's mother Georgette Goodwin said at a press conference conducted by the anti-crime group. "We buried him on his birthday. It’s just unfair and I just want justice."
Goodwin said Hogue had moved out of her house in January and was living with friends at the house where he died. She said the only other person at the house that morning left to go to the store, and that's when Hogue was killed.
She said Hogue was shot in the back of the head and laid on the air mattress where he had been sleeping. There were no signs of struggle and she believes someone entered the house through the back door by reaching through a recently broken window to turn the knob from the inside.
When Hogue's roommate returned from the store, the fire alarm was going off and he saw smoke, according to Goodwin. Whoever killed Hogue had tried to set him on fire, but was unsuccessful. Goodwin said they also tried to break his phone.
So far, nobody has been arrested. Police are still investigating, said Officer Holly Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Detroit Police Department.
George Reed Jr., Hogue's stepfather, said he raised him from the time he was a year old until adulthood. He asked that anyone with information come forward.
"Anything you’ve heard, no matter how insignificant it might seem to you, can help us find his killer," Reed said. "And we know a lot of people stick to the street code and this rule of silence, but our family is hurting."
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest in Hogue's killing.
"I miss his smile. I miss his laughter. His smile lit up a room," Goodwin said. "I never knew how much pain you could have until you lose a child."
Goodwin has created a GoFundMe campaign after requests from many people wanting to help the family.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-SPEAK-UP or online at www.1800speakup.org.