The Deanna Cremin Square was dedicated in the summer of 1995. The square was an idea proposed by her friend, Danielle Shute. Shute suggested the area near the corner of Jaques Street and Temple Street, because it was the neighborhood where Deanna grew up and played in as a child. The Deanna Cremin Square can be seen from St. Polycarp’s Church, where Deanna’s funeral was held on April 3, 1995.
Somerville — It’s a bitterly cold morning when Albert Rodgers fusses over his daughter’s wreath. He checks it out from all angles, admiring the ribbon with the word “justice,” making sure the green and white flowers are secure and fresh.
It’s his job to get the wreath every year for the square named in his daughter’s honor, the wreath marking Deanna Cremin Square.
“It’s keeping her memory alive,” he said. “It’s my responsibility as a parent to keep her name alive.”
Just four days after she celebrated her 17th birthday in March 1995, Deanna Cremin was raped and murdered. Cremin’s body was found behind a senior housing complex on Winter Hill, her death apparently from strangulation.
Family members take on the responsibility of keeping Deanna’s name in the public. Her father tends to the wreath and the square, her mother rides herd on police investigators, and other friends update Web sites or create tributes online.
Her killer has never been found. But her family has hope. And that is why this large group of people touched by Deanna Cremins’ short life keep working to keep her name alive.
“I personally will not give up my pursuit for justice in Deanna’s name,” wrote Deanna’s mother, Katherine Cremin, in an e-mail to the Journal. “And we are still asking for anyone with any information to please come forward. There is still a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this person.”
Cremin said there may be DNA evidence in the case that has yet to be analyzed with better tests than were available in 1995. “I know the investigators on this case have put in countless hours and days toward getting resolution. I hope, and with good reason believe, that a person may be finally brought up on charges this year,” she said.
“She would have been 30 years old this March 26,” her mother said. “My family and I often wonder what she would have been like. Would she have been married and had children? Would she have achieved her goal of working with disabled and needy children? All the things that so many of her friends and family members have achieved?”
Her father wondered that, too, as he stood in the cold in his daughter’s square.
“I really miss her, you know? The hurting subsides. Things do get easier,” Rodgers said with tears in his eyes that couldn’t be completely accounted for by the cold. “Life goes on, you know? You can’t let it consume you. And then you feel guilty, you know?”
Those who have any information regarding the Deanna Cremin case may call the Somerville Detective Bureau at 617-625-1600. All calls are confidential. For more information on Deanna Cremin, or the reward foundation and the scholarship it endows, contact www.deannacremin.org.
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