GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — New billboards are going up in Grand Rapids in the hopes they can help crack multiple unsolved homicides. The first one went up in the city on Tuesday.
Silent Observer and the Grand Rapids Police Department are bringing back the "You Know Who Killed Me" billboards after successful campaigns in years past. The billboards are said to have led to arrests, and they are hoping the same thing happens this time around.
The first billboard in the latest series, located at Leonard Street and Plainfield Avenue, surrounds the unsolved murder of Jeffery Mathews back in September of 2019. GRPD said Mathews was shot and killed at his apartment complex on Clancy Street.
Police said he was just an innocent bystander. The case remains unsolved to this day, despite reports there was a large group of people around at the time and likely plenty of witnesses.
Now, GRPD and Silent Observer are hoping someone will see the billboard and come forward, which they can do anonymously.
The reason the billboards are coming back in 2020 is because Silent Observer applied for a Project Safe Neighborhoods Grant with the U.S. attorney's office to address violence in the city. Six billboards will be put up through the year, featuring people who have been murdered.
"It puts these unsolved homicides in the public eye," said Chris Cameron with Silent Observer. "We have increased the award amount from $2,500 to $3,000 in the hopes that it might mean something to somebody.
"We want the public to know that if it happened in your family – if you were a victim, if your loved one was killed – you’d want to know. You would want the case solved, and we are pleading with these people who know who killed Jeffery Mathews to come forward and give that information to Silent Observer safely and anonymously.”
The remaining billboards will be different unsolved cases near the area where they happened.
If you have any information on Mathews murder, you can contact Silent Observer anonymously at 616-774-2345, through silentobserver.org or by submitting a tip through their app.