Body of 12-year-old who vanished in 2020 found in attic

Posted at 9:13 AM, April 19, 2024

BUFFALO, N.Y. (Court TV/Scripps News Buffalo) — The body of a 12-year-old boy who vanished in 2020 was found in an attic last week in Buffalo.

Jaylen Griffin disappeared on Aug. 4, 2020, while walking his dog. His body was found April 12 in the attic of a four-unit apartment home, roughly five miles from where he was last seen. Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia called the discovery “an absolute tragedy.”

portrait of boy next to house

(L) Jaylen Griffin, (R) Four-unit apartment home where Griffin’s body was found. (Scripps News Buffalo)

Three months after Jaylen vanished, his 18-year-old brother was shot and killed across the street from the family’s home, reports Scripps News Buffalo. Griffin’s mother unexpectedly died last year, never knowing what happened to her son. Family advocate Kareema Morris told Scripps News Buffalo, “I think she died of a broken heart.”

According to Erie County records obtained by Scripps News Buffalo, the home where Griffin’s body was found is owned by Sunrise West LLC. In an active lawsuit filed in 2022, a neighbor claims that a tenant of the unit threw pieces of a burnt mattress out the window, causing more than $130,000 of damage to the neighbor’s home.

Sunrise West LLC. and Spectrum Health & Human Services are also being sued in that lawsuit. The neighbor and their attorney claim Spectrum Health & Human Services was “negligent, careless, and/or reckless” in vetting tenants for the apartment home.

According to Spectrum Health & Human Services; website, the organization has a supportive adult housing program that “caters to high-need, high-risk individuals with co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse issues.”

Spectrum Health & Human Services would not comment if the home was ever utilized by Spectrum. However, a spokesperson did say they are cooperating with police in the homicide investigation of Griffin.

Multiple neighbors told Scripps News Buffalo there had been issues stemming from the home for years.