Sunday, May 8, 2022

The Murder of Aszia Grimes


Aszia Grimes was only 25 years-old when she was found murdered in Rochester, New York on September 12th, 2020. The young woman had been reported missing three days earlier. Aszia's body was found by a passerby in a vacant lot on Orchard Street, close to her home in the Lyell Avenue neighborhood. Investigators quickly determined that her death was a homicide. 

During the early stages of the investigation, Capt. Frank Umbrino of the Rochester Police stated that "police will not be releasing [Aszia's] cause of death to protect the integrity of the investigation." However, a post on Aszia's case on states that Aszia was the victim of an assault that resulted in her death. Capt. Umbrino also said that the location where Aszia's body was found is an area that is "not normally traveled." Police have declined to comment on whether or not they believe Aszia was murdered in the spot where her body was found.

Aszia reportedly struggled with developmental disabilities since birth. At the time of her death, Aszia also was struggling with drug addiction. Despite this, Aszia was not known to have any enemies or conflicts with others. Members of the community described her as a helpful neighbor and a great friend. Still, the Lyell Avenue neighborhood where Aszia lived is not unfamiliar with violence. Aszia's murder was the seventh murder that the city had experienced over a span of three weeks. 

Aszia's loved ones have vowed to never give up on finding Aszia's killer. They also hope that Aszia's death will help raise awareness on the ongoing issues of drug abuse and violence in Rochester. Aszia's friend Maritza Santiago told reporters that she believes Aszia might still be alive if there were more resources and helpful services available to people struggling with addiction. Police have not commented on whether or not they believe Aszia's drug use played a role in her murder, but it appears that it has not been ruled out.

Aszia's mother Debi Tellier stated that she believes Aszia's murder remains unsolved because there is an abundance of other unsolved murders in the area that have overwhelmed investigators. During a 2021 march to raise awareness on Aszia's murder, Debi told reporters, "the reason they haven't been able to find the person who killed my daughter and left her for dead in an empty lot is because they're too busy being worried about all the other murders going on and we want it to stop." 

Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of Aszia's killer is asked to contact the Rochester Police Major Crimes Unit at 585-428-7157. 

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