MILWAUKEE - For one Milwaukee mother, the start of August marks a somber milestone – the 27th birthday of her son, who was shot and killed in 2017. Nearly four years later, no one has come forward about Donovan Hines' death; there have been no arrests made or charges filed in connection to his homicide.
On his birthday, Sunday, Aug. 1, his mom made another heartfelt plea. She asked that if any community members have information that could help close this case, that they please speak up.
"Not a day goes by that you are not missed," said Brenda Hines at her son's gravesite. "Always in our heart."
With the sun shining over her son's grave, Brenda Hines held the same hope for this day that she does for all others – maybe it will be the one that brings closure.
"Just momma's baby," said Hines. "I still feel empty. I'm still seeking justice."
On Nov. 13, 2017, her son, Donovan Hines, who was 23 years old, was shot and killed while driving near 29th and Hampton. His killer has not been arrested.
"Reach out to the people who might know something about this," said Jesse McSwain, WINGS (Working to Inspire Nurture and Grow for Service) president.
"Turn yourself in," said Dr. Cheryl Meeks, Providers Help Outreach Center founder. "Somebody knows something. Please don't be silent."
On what would have been Donovan Hines' 27th birthday, Brenda Hines and her support system renewed that plea.
"We have to hold these people accountable," said Hines. "People need to speak up, talk up. Don't be afraid."
"That's the only way I can survive, is by helping other people," said Hines. "That gives me the strength to go on. That gives me the hope to know that eventually, they will catch someone."
Until then, the Hines family will continue to pray for answers, lifting others up along the way.
"That's where we will give back to a lot of families to help them in honor of Donovan Hines," said Brenda Hines.
Brenda Hines and Cheryl Meeks are hosting an event to honor families who have lost loved ones to gun violence on Saturday, Aug. 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dr. Meeks Center, located at 7420 W. Hampton Avenue in Milwaukee. There, free grief support will be provided, along with mental health and substance abuse resources. Those in attendance will also be invited to enjoy lunch, and take part in a backpack giveaway. Those who would like to attend should sign up in advance.
Have a tip about this case?
If you have any information about Donovan Hines' homicide, you're asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS or P3 Tips App to remain anonymous.