Update on Demarius Reed investigation and other developments

October 21, 2013

To Students, Faculty and Staff:

This update is provided to ensure you know everything we know at this time regarding the tragic and senseless death of Demarius Reed. There are several significant elements to share with you, including information about the reward that has been established, plans for a campus march and candlelight vigil, a memorial fund set up in his honor, and funeral and visitation plans.

As of this afternoon, the case remains unsolved. Ypsilanti Police have interviewed many people to learn more about what may have led to his death. As we reported yesterday in an all-campus message, police want to talk to anyone who may have information about or attended a party Thursday night/Friday morning in the University Green apartments, where the incident took place. A reward of up to $5,000 for information that helps solve the case is posted through Crime Stoppers. Tips can be submitted by calling 1-800-SPEAK UP (1-800-773-2587), online at www.1800speakup.org, or via text to CRIMES (274637).

We can all come together to support his family at this time. Demarius' father and other family members were at the football game on Saturday where our leadership team, Board of Regents members, and his coaches and teammates expressed our heartfelt sympathy about this terrible tragedy. We will continue to offer our love and support.

Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. (CDT) this Saturday, October 26, at Holy Temple Evangelistic Church of God in Christ, 15912 Lincoln Avenue, Harvey, Ill. Visitation is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (CDT) this Friday, October 25, at Salem House of Hope, 752 E. 114th Street., Chicago, Ill.

Demarius' teammates and coaches from the football team will attend Friday's visitation, and several EMU faculty members and other EMU representatives will join me at the visitation and funeral on Saturday.

Many people, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni, have inquired about how they can help. We have established the Demarius Reed Memorial Fund to help remember the legacy of Demarius through student support or other programs on campus. Donations to the Demarius Reed Memorial Fund may be made in three ways:

Send a check to the EMU Foundation, 1349 South Huron Street, Ypsilanti, MI  48197 (note on check – Demarius Reed Memorial Fund);Donate by phone at 734.484.1322; Make a contribution online at www.emich.edu/foundation/.

On Friday, many students who attended the campus forum indicated their interest in raising awareness of the larger issue of off-campus safety and security for our students and neighbors in the community. To that end, EMU students are planning an "Increase the Peace" march, rally and candlelight vigil this Thursday, October 24. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. on the north side of the Student Center, with a march beginning at 5 p.m., before returning for a rally and candlelight vigil at the outdoor amphitheater next to the Lake House. I encourage everyone who is interested to join me at the vigil and show support at these events.

This senseless tragedy reflects a community issue that needs the attention of University administration, community leaders and students and others beyond our campus boundaries. We have initiated a dialogue with the city that will lead to a broader discussion of overall safety in the neighborhoods surrounding the EMU campus. We plan to have an initial meeting this week that will include University administration, student leaders, and Ypsilanti city leadership.

Tomorrow at 4 p.m., we will hold a campus and community forum in the ballroom of the Student Center, in which Ypsilanti Interim Police Chief Tony DeGiusti and other city leaders will discuss the latest information about the investigation as well as efforts by the city and police to address safety and security concerns in off campus locations, and be available for questions.

I want to thank the many people who have called and emailed, those who attended last Friday's forum, those who attended Saturday's football game and participated in the tribute to Demarius, and to Demarius' teammates who played Saturday with heavy hearts and great emotion in honor of their colleague. Demarius' teammates, coaches, marching band members and others wore emblems as a special tribute to #2.

Demarius' family and friends remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Susan Martin