Death of Chanel Petro-Nixon
|Died||June 18, 2006 (age 16 or 17)
Brooklyn, New York
|Cause of death||Homicide|
|Body discovered||June 22, 2006|
|Known for||Missing person and murder victim|
Chanel Petro-Nixon was born in mid-1989 and lived in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York, with her father Anthony Garvin, her mother Lucita Nixon, and her brothers Marcus and Giovanni. She was a member of the Mt. of Olives Seventh-day Adventist Church on Bushwick Avenue and was considered devout by her family in regards to her church and prayer attendance. She was also an 11th grader at Boys and Girls High School and was known as a straight-A student who spent her after-school hours in the library. According to Nancy Grace of CNN "She wanted to become a nurse to help other people".
On Sunday, June 18, 2006, Petro-Nixon left her family's home, telling them she was walking to the Applebee's near New York Avenue and Fulton Street, to meet a friend. She did not come home. Four days later, her body was discovered in a trash bag in front of 212 Kingston Avenue. It was determined that Petro-Nixon had been strangled.
Following his daughter's murder, Petro-Nixon's father Anthony Garvin was quoted as saying: "I don't trust anybody [...] That person shaking your hand, smiling in your face, could be the one who did this." Petro-Nixon's mother, Lucita, took a different viewpoint stating, "I won't let anger poison me". A teenage friend of Petro-Nixon's said: "She would never do anything wrong.'" The friend also said that two had read The Da Vinci Code together and that Petro-Nixon was a good student. "She had good grades. I would call her the 'little nerd.'"
Petro-Nixon's parents made a plea to the public asking for help in finding her killer. They also visited the site where she was found.
On July 7, 2006, the Brooklyn Branch of the N.A.A.C.P. sent a letter to Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly requesting a meeting. The letter mentioned "increasing rates of crime", "inadequate police response" and the murder of Petro-Nixon.
Police quickly appealed to the public for information, offering an initial reward of $12,000 for useful information.
At a later date, the reward amount was increased, ultimately reaching $38,000. The fund represents contributions by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, The New York Daily News, The Reverend Al Sharpton and the Police Department. There has been no claim to the reward.
An article in the New York Daily News focused on Petro-Nixon's white sneakers, with the hope that someone would have recognized her shoes.
- "Cops hope a photo of 16-year-old Chanel Petro-Nixon's white and pink retro jordan sneakers will jog a witness' memory and help investigators track down the Brooklyn girl's killer."
David Stein, head of the detective squad working the case, was quoted as saying, "You see a case like this maybe once in a career."
In June 2016, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced that former Crown Heights resident Veron Primus had been formally charged with the murder of Petro-Nixon.
Primus had been a school friend of Petro-Nixon and it was later found that he was the friend she was meeting at Applebee's on the day she disappeared. It was reported that he was considered a suspect from day one, but there had not been enough evidence to lead to an arrest.
Some years after Petro-Nixon's murder, Primus had also served time in prison for violating a restraining order, and was deported to St. Vincent following his release. In 2016, while in St Vincent, he became a suspect in the adbuction of one woman and the murder of another. While investigating these crimes, St Vincent authorities found new evidence linking Primus to Petro-Nixon's murder. They contacted New York investigators, who travelled to the island and were then able to issue an indictment.
As of 2017, Primus is being held in St Vincent, awaiting trial for the unrelated murder of a 33-year-old estate agent named Sharleen Greaves. Thompson stated that he wishes for Primus to be returned to the United States and stand trial for Petro-Nixon's murder.
Murder statistics conducted by the NYPD and obtained by the Daily News had mentioning of Petro-Nixon. Also this same day, another murder which occurred was mentioned and there was speculation that this murder may be related to Petro-Nixon's. New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis, who tried to keep the story 'alive' in the press, provided this information that there was a spike in murder, which was up in Crown Heights by 122%, and that community meetings were being held by Assemblyman Karim Camara. Her mother was quoted in a New York Times story as stating: "We try our best to keep it alive, she said of the case. We really don't want her death to be in vain."
In January 2007, CNN had a video featuring Nancy Grace, discussing unsolved murders.
As of June 24, 2007, the case had still not been solved. There were currently no witnesses known to have seen her murdered, nor any suspects that had been identified. The Reverend Al Sharpton has joined with the television show, America's Most Wanted, in trying to solve the mystery of her murder. He has used strong language directed to the Black Community in presenting the case of Petro-Nixon's murder.
Her mother, Lucita Petro-Nixon, had been scheduled to receive a "survivor's" award during January, 2008. More than two years have passed and there have been no further revelations in Petro-Nixon's murder.
On June 19, 2010, a rally was held in honor of Petro-Nixon, and included a march and a prayer vigil. The blog site mentioning this rally had stated that as of this late date no further evidence of her murder had been provided.
A website was created in memory of Petro-Nixon and also to reach out to the public in obtaining information or help in locating her murderer.
- "Unknown Chanel Petro-Nixon Killer". Americas Most Wanted. June 18, 2006. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- "Chanel Petro Nixon - Brutal Murder of "Perfect" Kid". Find A Grave. August 2, 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- Peyser, Andrea (June 18, 2007). "Year Of Tears For Slain Teen: 'Too Black' for City to Really Care". The New York Post. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
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- "Urgent Request for Meeting". NAACP. July 7, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
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- "Murder Victim's Mom Frustrated by yet Another Adjournment in Vernon Primus Case". iWitness News. April 27, 2017. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
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- E. Louis (November 24, 2006). "It's Time To Tame The Beast. Chanel's Killer is still free. There's a spike in Murder. Now, Crown Heights must speak up.". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- Mascia, Jennifer (November 28, 2006). "The Neediest Cases; After a Daughter's Death, Seeking Answers and the Strength to Go On". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
- CNN Transcripts, article by Nancy Grace (January 1, 2007). ""Murder of Brooklyn 16-year-old still Unsolved" (NOTE: Rush transcript notice)". CNN. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- Errol Louis (June 24, 2007). ""Follow every single lead", subtitled: "'Runaways' may be murder victims. Cops & neighbors must step it up"". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- "Rev. Sharpton to Appeal to the Public to not forget two Black Women from Brooklyn: Chanel Petro-Nixon whose murder is unsolved, and Steph Henry who vanished last month". The National Action Network. June 23, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- "Chanel Petro-Nixon Murdered". Websleuths. July 31, 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- "Annual "Survivors" Awards Benefit Gala (January 2008)". "4 Real Women International. May 17, 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- "Rally and Remembrance for Chanel Petro-Nixon". Bed Stuy Blog. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "Help Find Chanel Killer". myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
- Peyser, Andrea (July 29, 2006). "It's open season on young gals". New York Post.
- Boyce, Kelly (July 22, 2010). "Four Years Later, a Vigil Seeks Clues to a Teenager's Murder". The Brooklyn Ink.