Murder Mystery: Thanksgiving cold case of murdered homeless woman gets new life from strangers
KILLER WANTED IN SEATTLE —
Ten years ago this Thanksgiving, a homeless woman was murdered on the streets in Seattle.
Police are still looking for her killer and now a group of strangers have now joined the hunt to get her justice.
“It was back on Thanksgiving Day, 2005, November 24th,” says Seattle Police Det. Rolf Norton. “There were a couple of transients in the area that were walking along,” Norton continues. “And they saw a fire next to a building, kind of behind a fenced area, almost like an old alley. Right here underneath the viaduct and they called it in. They just thought it was some burning debris, maybe a brush fire, something like that.”
But firefighters quickly discovered that this was no brush fire.
Norton explains, “They got there, they put out the fire and then they found Miss Garrison, wrapped in a blanket, where the fire was.”
42-year-old Davina Garrison had been homeless and living on the streets, but police were about to discover that it wasn’t the fire that killed her. “She had sustained injuries to her head, also that she was deceased when the fire had started,” Detective Norton adds.
Word of Davina’s death grabbed the attention and hearts of strangers like Mary Suhm. “Although we didn’t know Davina Garrison, we consider ourselves her friends,” Suhm says. So much so that she and a few others started the “Friends and Family of Davina Garrison” group and put together a reward. Another member of the group, Marite says, “Here was this woman on the street alone, defenseless and it absolutely ripped us and when we found out that she had been set on fire, a group of us got together and put up an additional $3,000 as a reward for information leading to who did this.” Strangers who give their own time and money for someone they’ve never met. When asked why, their answer was simple. Marite explains, “We went to the cathedral, they read off 92 names of homeless people who have died in Seattle which is a staggering number of people, but in Davina’s case, the fact that she was set on fire like she was garbage, she wasn’t garbage, she mattered.”
And now Seattle police need others to come forward and help solve a difficult case. “It’s been very challenging," says Det. Norton. "There was some items of evidence that we collected at the scene that we were able to try and process, and at this point, leads are kind of dead ending.”
But on the 10th anniversary of her death, Davina’s ‘friends’ place fresh flowers near where she was killed. It’s a sign that even though this case is cold, Davina hasn’t been forgotten and neither has her killer. Suhm adds, “We’re here today just to make sure that her murder is solved and anyone who knows anything, please step forward.”
Crime Stoppers is offering a $4,000 reward for anyone who has information leading to the arrest of those responsible for Davina's murder.
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