12-Year-Old Jaylen Griffin's Body Found in Buffalo Attic After 4-Year Search

The body of 12-year-old Jaylen Griffin, missing since 2020, was found in an attic near his Buffalo, New York home. The discovery brings a tragic end to a four-year search, with a homicide investigation now underway.

Nitish Verma
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12-Year-Old Jaylen Griffin's Body Found in Buffalo Attic After 4-Year Search

12-Year-Old Jaylen Griffin's Body Found in Buffalo Attic After 4-Year Search

The body of 12-year-old Jaylen Griffin was discovered in an attic just 5 miles from his Buffalo, New York home, bringing a tragic end to a four-year search for the missing boy. Jaylen was reported missing by his family on August 4, 2020, but police initially labeled him as a runaway. The Erie County District Attorney's Office is now assisting in the homicide investigation, with the medical examiner potentially taking several months to complete the autopsy.

Why this matters: This case highlights the systemic issues in law enforcement's handling of missing persons cases, particularly those involving people of color, and the need for greater accountability and resources. The tragic outcome of Jaylen's case serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of inadequate investigations and the importance of community involvement in seeking justice.

The Griffin family has endured immense heartache in recent years. In addition to Jaylen's disappearance and death, his 18-year-old brother was murdered, another brother was shot, and their mother, Joann Ponzo, passed away from a "broken heart" in September. Kareema Morris, founder of the organization Bury the Violence, has been helping the family search for Jaylen since 2021. At a press conference on April 15, 2024, Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph A. Gramaglia described the discovery as "the next level of closure for Jaylen's family."

Morris' organization aims to find missing people, particularly those of color, who are often labeled as runaways and receive less attention and resources from law enforcement. She believes that someone in the community knows something about Jaylen's disappearance and is urging people to come forward with information. "How was he in this space and no one has seen, heard, or smelled anything?" Morris asked. "What happened? Where did we miss? What clues were there?"

Jaylen's case bears similarities to the 2013 murder of Lanasha Rollerson, Morris' niece, who was also labeled as a runaway by Buffalo police. Morris' organization has reunited nearly 200 families with their loved ones who went missing in the Buffalo area, focusing on cases involving people of color that often receive less attention from law enforcement and the media.

The discovery of Jaylen Griffin's body in the attic of a home in South Buffalo, a close-knit neighborhood, has left the community in shock. As the investigation into his death continues, the Griffin family and the city of Buffalo are left to grapple with the tragic loss of a young life and the unanswered questions surrounding his disappearance and murder.

Key Takeaways

  • 12-year-old Jaylen Griffin's body found in attic 5 miles from Buffalo, NY home after 4-year search.
  • Police initially labeled Jaylen as a runaway, highlighting systemic issues in missing persons cases.
  • Erie County DA's Office assisting in homicide investigation, with autopsy potentially taking months.
  • Jaylen's family has suffered immense tragedy, including another brother's murder and mother's death.
  • Community involvement and resources crucial in seeking justice for Jaylen and other missing persons of color.