GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The victims in a Grand Rapids murder investigation have all been identified.
Three people were found dead in Burton Heights, a southeast Grand Rapids neighborhood, in the span of several hours Monday.
Police initially responded to Horton Street after people discovered two bodies covered in blood in the roadway.
A family member confirmed with FOX 17 that 20-year-old Anayia Michelle Rodriguez of Kentwood was the woman who lost her life on Monday.
Her body was found on Melville, just East of Horton.
Rodriguez’s family provided FOX 17 with these photos of their loved one.
19-year-old Malik Eubanks was found dead near Horton and Melville.
The pair, who police say shared a close relationship, were discovered just under a quarter of a mile away from one another.
Eubanks’s son, just two years, and eleven months old, was found alone about a mile away from Horton, according to GRPD.
“He was covered in blood,” Chief Eric Winstrom told FOX 17 Tuesday afternoon.
“That suggests that he was probably pressent for the murder, which is devestating.”
The child was physically alright, and has since been reunited with their mother.
Investigators combed the massive scene for hours Monday, only clearing the area around 2:30 p.m.
“The call of homicide is usually preceded by a call of loud sounds of popping, sound of shots, or even fireworks, but we didn’t have any of that yesterday,” Chief Winstrom said Tuesday.
Nobody that FOX 17 spoke to on scene the entirety of Monday had heard anything resembling a gun shot or fight taking place in the minutes before the two bodies were found.
Regarding whether or not Chief Winstrom believes the bodies could have been dumped in the area of Horton and Melville, he explained Tuesday, “The fact that the bodies were left geographically in two places, and the young boy was left a mile away, we know there was likely a car involved.”
A woman living near the spot Rodriguez was found on Melville believes her home security system caught video of a suspect vehicle dumping her body on the road, and driving away at a high rate of speed.
The video shows a darker colored mid-sized SUV pulling up to the side of the road, a door opening, and something large resembling a body being dumped out on to the road.
Chief Winstrom told FOX 17 Tuesday afternoon that detectives were actively searching for any and all video that may have captured a suspect vehicle in the area of the murders.
“If you have an incident where you think the offender either arrived or departed in a motor vehicle, there are so many cameras across the country really.”
“It gives you a path as an investigator to seek out many opportunities.”
While a FOX 17 crew was preparing for a 4:00 p.m. live shot, they heard the sound of several gun shots being fired.
Within seconds, Grand Rapids Police cruisers were flying down the road towards the 2000 block of Horton, the exact same spot where Eubanks’ body was found just hours earlier.
Crime scene tape and evidence markers began going back up in similar locations to where they were Monday morning.
32-year-old Darryl Yarber was shot and killed in the area right around 3:52 p.m.
Following autopsies, investigators determined that all three victims died from gunshot wounds.
It is not yet known if the three murders are related, though Chief Eric Winstrom believes it is likely.
“In my experience, to have a murder so soon after, in such a close geographical circumstance, it’s not common, and there is a strong possibility it is related,” he said Tuesday.
“Whether it’s an individual who came back to take more actions like they did originally, or whether this was revenge.”
Late Monday, around 9:00 p.m., Grand Rapids police located a vehicle of interest in the case on Sherman Street.
A neighbor on Sherman told FOX 17 Tuesday afternoon that they heard the suspect vehicle pull up, only hearing one person get out.
He says the vehicle was parked along the south side of Sherman, facing in the wrong direction.
The neighbor says it was only a short period of time between the person arriving in the suspect vehicle, and police arriving on scene with lights and sirens blaring.
FOX 17 showed this Sherman neighbor the video captured near the location where Rodriguez was found, asking if he believed it was the same vehicle he saw parking.
The neighbor is confident that the vehicle in the video from Melville is the same one located by police on Sherman.
Michigan Secretary of State records show that the vehicle, which was later seized by investigators, is registered in Anayia Rodriguez’s name.
“Yesterday was an incredibly tragic day for this neighborhood and for our city as the lives of three young people were taken from us,” says Chief Eric Winstrom.
“I know that many in this neighborhood and elsewhere are fearful following these shocking murders, but at this time, we believe these were very targeted incidents and there is no threat to the broader community. Residents have been very forthcoming with information, and I urge anyone who knows anything to come forward. We can all work together to bring justice for these three victims and their loved ones.”
Those with knowledge related to the investigation are urged to call investigators at (616) 456-3380 or can submit information completely anonymously via Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.
READ MORE: 3 people killed blocks apart in Grand Rapids, possible suspect vehicle located
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