Mystery in Ferguson: Who Killed Deandre?

20-year-old was the only person to die after the Michael Brown grand jury decision
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2014 6:39 AM CST
Updated Dec 2, 2014 7:50 AM CST
Mystery in Ferguson: Who Killed Deandre?
A man runs from a police car that is set on fire in Ferguson, Mo. The car Deandre Joshua was in was also set on fire.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The morning after the grand jury's decision in the Michael Brown case, the body of a young black male was discovered in a burned white Pontiac. The car was parked in the lot of an apartment complex not far from the spot where Brown was killed. The dead man inside was the only one to lose his life during the riots that swept the city in the wake of the decision. But for all the attention Brown's death has attracted, the death of Deandre Joshua, 20, has garnered little. The New York Times, which speaks to his family, describes it as a "footnote to Ferguson's story," and a "bitter mystery" for those who loved him. His family tells the Times that Joshua wasn't involved in any of the marches or protests that followed after Brown's death, and dispels the rumors that he was an unnamed grand jury witness.

He did have one link to the case, though: He and twin brother Dont'A were childhood friends with Dorian Johnson, the man who was walking with Brown when Officer Darren Wilson stopped them. A former girlfriend places him with her, at a salon near St. Louis, when news of Brown's death broke. Police have said nothing about possible suspects (his family knows of no enemies) or motives. What they have revealed are some graphic details: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Joshua's body had been doused with accelerant in an attempt to light him on fire; his arm, fingers, and legs were burned, and the New York Daily News notes the fire was likely extinguished on its own. His car was parked in the Northwinds Apartments lot, but his family says that he had left his family home around 2am to go visit a new girlfriend who didn't live in those apartments. (More Ferguson, Missouri stories.)

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