FBI assisting Memphis police with several child murders

Watch: Family of homicide victims pleads for communities help

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis police have reported a staggering number of young people murdered in 2020. 

So far this year, 27 children have been killed. 

Nine of the cases remain unsolved, according to MPD. 

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FOX 13 has learned some of the suspects are now on the FBI’s radar due to Operation Legend.  

Rose Mary Williams said she hopes the unsolved murder of her nephew, Demetrius Robinson, is one of the cases.  Robinson was murdered at a Whitehaven gas station September 3.  His killer has not been caught.

“This is a nightmare.  This a nightmare to feel this way,” Williams told FOX13.

According to MPD, in 12 of the juvenile homicides, investigators have either identified or arrested a suspect. 

MPD would not explain to FOX13 exactly how many suspects were arrested or still at large in those 12 cases.

Police Director Mike Rallings told FOX13 his investigators will get help from federal law enforcement in some specific juvenile murders. 

“We’re also receiving help from the FBI to solve some of the child homicides this year,” Rallings said.

A spokesman for the FBI Memphis told FOX13 if a suspect is under federal investigation for gang and drug crimes when the juvenile murder happened, then the case could be part of Operation Legend.

Delvin Lane of the 901 Bloc Squad works as a social worker in neighborhoods after a shooting, talking to people to stop possible retaliatory violence.  

This year his team has seen a lot of killings.

“I am tired of it, man," Lane said.

Lane said he also believes the public should help the police more with information, but believes many witnesses are scared.  

Lane told FOX13, "You got guys still running around.  You got people who know you have seen what happened. They are not going to tell the police what is going on because they are afraid.”

Rose Mary Williams said fear, like the violence, has to end because “the people who know something, need to step up and say something because if you don’t start now, when will you ever start.”

The FBI won’t comment on if it is investigating the Robinson murder, but would there are some cases it will assist Memphis police with as the bureau pursues federal crimes.