Crime Stoppers: Body of aspiring entrepreneur found in car set ablaze in Milwaukee's Rufus King neighborhood

Crime Stoppers: Body of aspiring entrepreneur found in car set ablaze in Milwaukee’s Rufus King neighborhood

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- "I felt that they did the worst thing to him -- was to take his life -- and I believe that he needs to be at rest now."

Someone shot her son, put him in the trunk of his own car and then set it on fire. Now, seven months later, his case still isn't solved.

She came to us with her story because she says someone calling in to Milwaukee Crime Stoppers with information is her last hope.

Veronica Cross, her cousin Tammy Addison and their family have been waiting too long for justice.

"This situation is hard. Every time we talk about it, it feels like it's another stab. It's hard. I don't like to say Dedrick 'was,' I don't like to talk about him in the past tense. And it just hurts so bad every time I think about that he's not here. Every day has been really hard."

It's been more than 200 days and counting since Veronica Cross' son Dedrick was murdered in September of 2022. 

"Dedrick was a unique, beautiful son, brother, family member. Dedrick had inspirations of being an entrepreneur, of owning a Chic Fil A and boosting his clothing brand. He was brilliant, educated and he always wanted the best, not for himself, but for others as well."

Cross says her 26-year-old son often worked with her at their family businesses. They own Junior's on 25th and Burleigh. And Dedrick would help out on their family's food truck, Cross Café, to help her out. 

"He was learning how to cook, but he could do the register and get orders, give orders."

They worked there together all day on Saturday, Sept. 24 and talked about a lot of things. 

"He had a boyfriend who he was with for about nine years. They lived together; they had a normal relationship. The Saturday that we were together, we were talking about them having children. During that last day, me and my son, we talked -- we talked a lot. The one thing that my son told me that day that really stuck to me was that I was his first best friend," Veronica Cross said. "And I never thought that would have been his last words to me."

On Sept. 25, police found his body in his own car in Milwaukee's Rufus King neighborhood. Someone shot him, put him in the trunk and set the car on fire.  

Neighbors living near N. 15th and Congress called police to report it around 5 a.m. Sunday morning, detectives came to Veronica Cross' door.

"I believe that he was with some friends or some people who he trusted, somebody who he felt comfortable putting his guard down with. What the situation was, I don't know," Cross said. 

Investigators don't know either. Dedrick Cross had no criminal history. There are no eyewitnesses, no one knows where Cross was for 12 hours. They say they don't know exactly where the shooting happened. 

Homicide Detective Thaddeus Schimmels is working this case. 

"We have very limited surveillance video, again, due to the 12-hour timeframe. Pointing down exactly where he was and exactly who he was with has been the problem. There have been advances in the investigation, but that just leads to more questions. 

More questions that you, or someone you know, may have the answers to. 

"We need to move forward as a family," Cross said. 

Veronica Cross says she's been stuck since her son's death. She hasn't even operated her food truck because it's just too hard. 

"I can't go on the trailer because it reminds me so much of him. I need answers and justice. Dedrick needs justice. We need justice. He needs to be at rest. I don't believe his soul is at rest because no one is being accountable for what -- for taking his life."

You can give them justice without anyone ever knowing you did it, by picking up your phone using the P3 Tips app or calling 414-224-8477.

"We are praying that Crime Stoppers will help. As a mother, I would want the community to speak up for all the crimes that have happened, because on Sept. 25, I didn't expect to be in these shoes. It can be anybody -- any mother, sister, auntie, cousin, any loved one, anyone who cares about you in those shoes. And the community needs to start speaking up on what is going on."

Once again, you can help this family feel at peace by helping hold the guilty party or parties accountable -- and you can do it anonymously by using the P3 Tips app or calling 414-224-TIPS.

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