RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– The family of a Richmond woman who was murdered is asking the public for help to find her killer.

It’s been nearly three weeks since Demetrise Simmons, 42, and her longtime friend Jermorlo Butler, 38, were killed in Fairfield Court. She was taken from her family two days before Mother’s Day. There still have been no arrests.

On May 6, Richmond Police officers arrived at Simmons’ apartment on the 2500 block of Rosetta Street at 1:46 a.m. When authorities arrived, they found Simmons and Butler with gunshot wounds. Butler was pronounced dead at the scene. Simmons was taken to the hospital where she later died.

According to family members, Simmons was a mother of three sons and had two grandchildren, with another on the way.

Tanya Williams is Simmons’ mother and Kendra Simmons is her sister. The family told 8News, Butler was Simmons’ longtime friend of more than 20 years and that the aftermath of the incident is ‘unbearable.’

“This is forever pain. We’re never going to see her again here. We’re never going to see my sister again here and that’s hard to accept,” Simmons said. “I don’t think we can cry enough because we haven’t accepted it. It hurts so bad, and we miss her so much. I just want her back so bad, but I know that can’t happen.”

Williams told 8News that Simmons’ death has destroyed their family.

“You can’t breathe. You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. You run out of tears,” Williams said.

Family members said Simmons lived in the apartment with her youngest son. Loved ones described her as fun and sweet. Simmons often cooked for and fed community members that lived on her block.

“She would give you the shirt off of her back,” Williams said.

Williams wrote a letter to her daughter in her obituary.


You have always been a fighter. I know you fought until the end because you are your mother’s child. I know you believed until the end. I will see to it that justice is served for you”

Tanya Williams, mother of Demetrise Simmons

The family needs answers from anyone who may have seen or heard the incident or saw Simmons walking around earlier that afternoon. Simmons’ father believes the person(s) responsible is not a stranger to her.

“The least that we can get is justice for my baby,” Simmons said.

Family members are gathering funds for an award to be given to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction. In the meantime, they have started a non-profit called ‘Scream for Dee.’ It stands for Saving Children Reaching Every Aspect Movement for the Development of Everyone Everywhere.

Anyone with information about these homicides is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective J. Crewell at 804-646-5324 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.