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Ever since Egypt Covington was slain in Van Buren Township last summer, longtime friend Linnie Briley has routinely sought any signs the high-profile case might be solved.

On Friday, exactly nine months after the shocking death, Briley cried when police called with a welcome update: Investigators had identified a person of interest.

While the development could be considered an incremental step in an ongoing probe, for Briley and many others seeking closure and answers, the news offers a glimmer of hope.

“I’m glad they’re moving forward,” Briley said. “She deserved better than that. It’s time for this to be done. Justice needs to be served.”

Today, those who knew Covington best are continuing that quest — urging anyone with tips to come forward while also pursuing plans to honor the 27-year-old’s memory through contributions to her cherished causes.

“I’m afraid that if we don’t keep her in the media, people will forget,” said her mother, Tina Covington. “I don’t want this to be a cold case.”

Loved ones have long wondered who might have targeted Covington before she was found dead in her home on June 23, 2017.

After months of investigating, township authorities announced Friday they could not rule out another acquaintance as a suspect.

The man, who has not been arrested, is now considered “a person of interest and we are unable to clear him” from the probe, Police Lt. Charles Bazzy told The Detroit News. No other details were released Friday.

The statement did not surprise some in Covington’s circle, who refused to believe a stranger targeted the friendly singer and account manager for Rave Associates, a wine and beer importer/distributor.

“One of the things police told me is they’ve never investigated a case where all they got from people they talked to was what a wonderful person she was,” said her father, Chuck Covington.

That spirit led supporters to contribute nearly $20,000 to a memorial fund. Those donations are slated to benefit a scholarship at her alma mater, Belleville High School; DragonFly Rescue & Resources, a Washtenaw County animal group; as well as Safe House Center, a nonprofit dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault and domestic, Briley said.

Coordinators hope to present the money before Covington’s 29th birthday in July and around the time a local brewing company has said it intends to unveil a beer named after her, Briley said. An area memorial also is planned.

“I’m trying to focus on the positive angel dust that she laid out there,” Chuck Covington said. “She should be remembered in a positive, loving, glowing light.”

Meanwhile, police have highlighted billboards showing where the public can share tips: crimetip@vanburen-mi.org.

Friends and relatives also continue to canvas the area and spread the word to gain clues leading to an arrest, Covington’s mother said. “I just want the right thing done. Let’s do the due diligence and get the right person.”

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