A photo showing a sweater possibly worn by a man sought in Monday’s killings drew the attention of residents, who also heard from officials.

Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

Grieving Brooklyn Park family asks for community's help

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY
  • Star Tribune
  • April 13, 2012 - 8:35 AM

DeLois Brown's Bible was still in her house Thursday. So was her purse. In fact, her brother said, nothing appeared to have been taken from the Brooklyn Park residence in which Brown and her parents were shot to death early Monday.

"None of this makes any sense," James Bolden said as family members carried cardboard boxes containing items that belonged to Brown, 59, who ran a home day care, and to her parents, James Henry Bolden, 82, and Clover Dale Bolden, 81.

"All we can do now is pray that the public keeps this alive until it's solved," Bolden said. "Keep the pressure on the authorities, keep the pressure on the community and keep the pressure on in the suburbs and the inner city until whoever did this is arrested."

Authorities continued to search for a suspect described as a black man in his 20s, who was wearing a blue jacket over a gray hooded sweatshirt and who fled Brown's home on College Park Drive on a BMX bicycle.

Brown was taking care of her parents, who had moved from the St. Louis area the week before. Her father had lost a leg to diabetes and was virtually blind, according to relatives.

Brown herself had recently overcome breast cancer and knee surgery, said a longtime friend who asked not to be named.

She also had just buried her husband, who died from pneumonia earlier this year.

"She was as sweet as pie," the friend said. "She would do anything for her parents. If this was a robbery, she would have given the intruder whatever he wanted, if it meant saving her parents or the little children she took care of."

The friend did not hide her frustration that a suspect hasn't been arrested. But Brown's family remained calm.

"I don't feel anger," Bolden said. "We want this person taken off the streets; he has to be stopped. ...

"Any person who could do something like this is troubled and needs help."

Before 6:30 Monday morning, a mother who had just dropped off her child at Brown's day care saw a man outside the house, she told police. She left in her car but, suspicious, called Brown. The phone went dead mid-conversation.

The woman called 911 and hurried back to the house, where she found Brown and her mother had been shot in the head. Brown's father also died of a gunshot wound.

The house had been cordoned off by police tape until Thursday and, Bolden said, had not been cleaned up. That was not his family's immediate concern, he said.

Relatives, anxious for a closure that won't likely come until an arrest is made, gathered to remove Brown's belongings and to plan a memorial service.

Even that would have to wait. Bolden said a meeting with a funeral director could not be scheduled before Friday.

Unrelated killing

A fourth homicide occurred this week in Brooklyn Park -- one that was too familiar to the Boldens.

Ashantai Nicole Finch, 32, was shot and killed late Tuesday night in a house next door to James and Debbie Bolden's. Police said the shooting was a domestic assault and was unrelated to Monday's killings.

A 19-year-old man who was arrested at the scene of Finch's death will be charged Friday, a spokesman for the Hennepin County attorney's office said.

Paul Levy • 612-673-4419

© 2018 Star Tribune