Remains of Missing 12-Year-Old Found

The remains of a 12-year-old boy, who vanished in 2020, were recently discovered in the attic of a New York residence, a place known to house a registered sex offender among its sober living group. Jaylen Griffin was last seen alive on August 4, 2020, when he left his home to visit a local grocery store. His grandmother, Shirley Banks, received the devastating news of his death three and a half years later.

Banks shared her grief with local media, stating that she had been praying for a different outcome. She revealed that she had been leaning on her faith for strength since her grandson’s disappearance. The news of his death, she said, was a blow she had been hoping to avoid.

The boy’s remains were discovered on a Friday in a house on Sheffield Avenue in South Buffalo. The police have classified Griffin’s death as a homicide. According to Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia, the body had been in the house for a considerable period. The discovery was made by a maintenance worker who had been called to the house to investigate a foul smell emanating from the attic.

The Erie County Medical Examiner confirmed the identity of the remains through dental records. Gramaglia expressed his condolences to Griffin’s family and assured them that the department was working tirelessly to bring closure to the case.

Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Keane stated that the autopsy report could take several months to finalize. He expressed hope that the report would reveal significant forensic evidence to aid the ongoing investigation.

The Griffin family has faced a series of tragedies. Jaylen’s mother, Joanna Ponzo, passed away in September, and his brother, Jawaan, was shot and killed in November 2020, just a few months after Jaylen’s disappearance.

Residents living near the Sheffield Avenue house revealed that the property had been damaged by a fire eight years ago. Since then, it had been rented out to recent parolees, sex offenders, and individuals with mental health issues. A local news outlet reported that the house was owned by a company that operates adult support homes. The same report confirmed that a registered sex offender, who had recently moved into the house, was arrested on a new sex charge just a month before Griffin’s remains were discovered.

The police have yet to identify any suspects in the homicide investigation. Commissioner Gramaglia described the situation as a tragedy, expressing deep sadness over the circumstances of Griffin’s death. He noted that Griffin would have celebrated his 16th birthday the week following the discovery of his remains.