By Laura Banish/The Daily Times
Marie Gray-Lope will never stop seeking the justice she believes she was denied in the investigation of her son’s death.
The body of Kristopher Gray, 22,
was found dead
“I think it’s a lot of laziness that a lot of deaths in
Those gathered were part of the Real Crimes network. Their cases can be read online at www.realcrimes.com.
On Wednesday they made five demands: better cooperation between police and the victim’s families during the investigation phase, creation of an investigation bureau with jurisdiction to investigate cold cases, development of a statewide standard policy for all unattended deaths, the creation of a special prosecutor’s office to remove officers who fail to investigate crimes, and formation of a formal coroner’s inquest process with full subpoena power for victim’s families to which to refer.
Gabino Venegas Jr. organized the event. Venegas’ son, also
named Gabino, was 34 when he was killed in a hit and run while riding his
bicycle home from work in
“We’re led to believe that the police are out vigorously looking for the killer and really our cases are just sitting in a file,” Venegas said. “It’s bad enough you’re victimized the first time because you lost someone, then you’re victimized a second time by police.”
Complaints Wednesday were against law enforcement agencies
Venegas said law enforcement was not invited to the conference because the victim’s families are intimidated by police and view them as “the enemy.” “Some people are so angry, they can’t think straight. They hate the police and they hate the system,” Venegas said.
Bloomfield Lt. Jim Davis said all of the factors in the case pointed to suicide.
“They’re not happy it was ruled a suicide, but there were witnesses who saw it and the findings were consistent to suicide,” he said. “When they’re convinced their loved one wouldn’t do that, it doesn’t matter what we tell them. They’re not going to accept the results.”
Gray-Lope’s complaint is with the FBI and Tribal Criminal Investigators.
FBI Agent Doug Beldon did not have her case immediately available this week, but said the agency rarely gets complaints like Gray-Lope’s.
“It’s just part of human nature to want a case you have an emotional investment in to get resolved quickly and to your satisfaction. It’s not always easy to do,” he said generally speaking. “Law enforcement works very hard and very well, but not everyone will be pleased all of the time and that’s just a fact of life.”
Gray-Lope vowed that she will keep seeking a resolution to her son’s death.
She said, “I’m never going to give up until I get an answer that satisfies me. Right now he’s not resting in peace.”