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GRPD hopes Stokes billboard will lead to tips | News

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GRPD hopes Stokes billboard will lead to tips
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids Police are trying to generate new leads in four homicide cases that have gone cold in recent years.

Victims faces are appearing on billboards near the locations where the murders occurred.

In part two of our four-part series, WZZM talked to detectives about where the investigation stands on the murder of Terrence Stokes, which took place on the city's northeast side last summer.

On June 16th, 2012, detectives say 19-year old Terrence Stokes was in Grand Rapids to surprise his sister.

Instead, he was found dead on the back porch of a house in the 200 block of Travis St. NE.

"Mr. Stokes was found laying in the backyard of a house where he had died of a gunshot wound," said Les Smith, who is the Grand Rapids Police detective investigating the case. "We've probably talked to 30 or 40 people on this, including friends who hung out with Mr. Stokes in high school and friends that hung out with Mr. Stokes in the community."

Detectives say that through their investigation they have determined a motive for the murder of Terrence Stokes, but they aren't at liberty to discuss it publicly.

Smith says the location of Stokes' killing remains puzzling because he was seen more frequently on the city's southeast side.

"He usually hun out down on the Franklin-Eastern-Fuller Avenue area," added Smith. "He happened to be up on the Travis area that night. It was kind of out of place for him to be up on the north end, but hopefully somebody has seen something or heard something that will generate some tips."

Now detectives are hoping that a billboard, which is positioned just blocks away from the murder scene, will help put a killer behind bars.

"We still have information that we're following-up on," said Smith. "We just need that one person that's going to call in and give us the tip we need and there will be an arrest in this case, hopefully."

This campaign is paid for through the Gannett Foundation.

Gannett is WZZM-13's parent company.

If you have any information on the death of Terrence Stokes, you're asked to call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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