A 21-year-old student from Clark Atlanta University went missing over a week ago and her body has finally been found. Police discovered the body of Alexis Crawford at a park in DeKalb County after being led to the location by one of the murder suspects.
Alexis’ roommate Jordyn Jones and Jordyn’s boyfriend Barron Brentley, both 21, were arrested Saturday and charged with malice murder, a crime that involves a deliberate intent to kill. According to the medical examiners, Alexis died due to asphyxiation, which is commonly caused by choking, strangling, smothering suffocation, or drowning.
During a press conference shortly after the discovery, police chief Erika Shields stated,
“While a motive has not been clearly established, the department did take a police report from Alexis Crawford on October 27, and this is a few days prior to her being reported missing. In this report, Alexis described unwanted kissing and touching from Barron Brantley.”
Alexis spoke to police at Grady Hospital where a rape kit examination had been administered to her. Crawford claimed that she was drinking with both Jordyn and Barron. Alexis went into her bedroom, and Barron followed her. There, he began touching her. The Washington Post reported that Jordyn would later tell police she had walked in on Barron shirtless in the bathroom, while Alexis was not fully clothed.
What makes the case even more disturbing is the fact that Jordyn and Alexis weren’t just roommates, they were close friends.
Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Reverend Markel Hutchins, a spokesperson for Crawford’s family said that Jordyn had been welcomed into the home and even joined them for Easter and Thanksgiving.
“They knew Jordyn, they liked Jordyn. There was never a reason to suspect that Jordyn would do anything wrong or ill to Alexis. One family member described them as two peas in a pod.”
How can the police say that there is no clear motive when it’s obvious to everyone as to what drove the pair to murder Alexis in cold blood? It’s unclear whether or not Barron and Jordyn were aware that Alexis went to the police. But it’s clear, they wanted to ensure her silence.
Women are constantly made to feel guilty when they don’t come forward and take legal action against their assailants. But what happened to Alexis is a prime example as to why so many women refuse to come forward when they are raped or sexually assaulted.
According to RAINN, only 20% of female college students who have been sexually assaulted or raped are reported to the police. Of the ones who don’t report, 20% are afraid of being retaliated against and 9% believing the police wouldn’t do anything to help them.
And while nothing can ever excuse what Jordyn and Barron did to Alexis, we can’t ignore the fact that the criminal justice system completely failed Alexis.
Alexis went to the police on October 27, her mother claims that the last she heard from Alexis was on October 30, and she reported her missing on November 1. In those five days after the police report, it’s unclear whether the police even made an effort to question or even arrest Barron for assaulting Alexis.
But the slow-moving pace of the police is not surprising, especially when it comes to sexually violent crimes. Statistics show that out of the 230 sexual assaults and rapes that are reported to the police, 46% of them ever lead to an arrest.
The question needs to be asked, would Alexis still be alive if the police did their due diligence in arresting Barron when they had the chance?
Getting sexually assaulted and raped is a traumatic experience and society needs to stop making women feel pressured into coming forward immediately. Some women just can’t do it. And there is nothing wrong with that. Alexis did what so many women are told to do when they are attacked, and yet, it did not work out in her favor.
Like Barron, sexual predators are often violent and dangerous, and the police need to be hasty when a report is made. Or else, something like this could happen again.
While Barron is being charged with Alexis’ murder, there’s no word on whether or not he will also be charged with sexual assault or rape.
Alexis’ funeral will be held on Saturday, November 16 at the Hill Chapel Baptist Church in Athens, Georgia.