Berlin teen murdered: “That was the last person we expected”
BERLIN, Md. – The community at Decatur Apartments is mourning the loss of a life taken too soon, after Dehaven Nichols was found dead in the woods there Wednesday night.
Those we spoke to say the 17-year-old had so much more life to live and now they’re left with so many questions. “I just did not see that coming,” says Nick Epps, a resident who knew Nichols. “He was a neighborhood rockstar.”
People who knew Dehaven Nichols are in shock as they try to piece together what led up to his death.
“Everyone ran over there and we saw the ambulance pull up and word went downhill that there was a body,” says Epps.
What investigators believe is that Vershawn Hudson-Crawford was involved. The 16-year-old turned himself in to police and is now charged with 1st and 2nd degree murder. What they don’t know yet is how Nichols died or the motive behind it.
But Nick Epps has his own idea. “I think it was kids being kids. Something popped off and they thought off the top of their heads nothing and then this happened.”
Epps says he was like a father figure to Nichols. “His smile would light up a room. You know what I mean?”
And now that he’s gone, Epps tells 47 ABC he hopes Nichols death will serve as a painful reminder to the community that violence shouldn’t be the answer.
“You see stuff like this and his life was taken for no reason. I just think life is way too short. As bad as you think the situation is, it can always be worse. You can work it out.”
Epps, who is a sous chef, was trying to get Nichols in the kitchen with him. He hopes to honor Nichols with a neighborhood cookout, to bring everyone together.
A spokesperson for Worcester County Public Schools says crisis and grief counseling resources are available to students and staff to help them deal with this loss in as healthy a way as possible.
Meanwhile, this is an ongoing investigation. Police are asking anyone with information about this to call the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack at 410-641-3101. Callers can remain anonymous.