Nearly two years ago, Michael Fox, an openly gay man, was murdered in his South Philadelphia apartment, and his parents are still searching for justice.
Fox, 30, was found June 22, 2012, in his apartment at Eighth and Christian streets. He died of blunt-force trauma to the head.
“It is hard,” said Fox’s mother, Diane. “I think the first year, you are in a cloud, so in shock that this happened. We really would like an answer now.”
Philadelphia Police Lt. Norman Davenport said there are no suspects, but investigators believe Fox knew his killer.
“We haven’t gotten one tip, so clearly this is someone who was known to the victim. It happened inside the home, where there were no witnesses,” Davenport said. “There didn’t appear to be forced entry. The victim was beaten pretty badly, and the place was left in a condition where there was a robbery done afterwards.”
Diane said her family has been working to keep the case alive.
“On Michael’s birthday in October, my husband and I walked from Michael’s apartment to Center City and hung up 30-40 posters to keep his story out there,” she said.
The city and Citizens Crime Commission are offering a $21,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Fox’s killer.
Diane said investigators have kept in touch with the family.
“We wish we had an answer but I think we knew after the first few months it would be longer than we wanted it to be,” she said. “We do believe they are working hard on the case and one day they will get a break.”
Diane said the family has tried to cope by performing positive actions, including the donation of a Buddy Bench at Fox’s elementary school, Mays Landing Elementary School. Buddy Benches are brightly colored seating areas designed to bring together youth who are feeling alienated or alone.
“It was something I couldn’t forget about because the concept is so wonderful,” Diane said.
An inscription on the bench reads, “In Memory of Michael John Fox — A Buddy to Everyone.”
Fox, who studied at Jean Madeline Aveda Institute, bartended at Woody’s and was an avid artistic roller skater.
“After his passing, so many of his friends came to us and talked about how often he reached out to help them,” Diane said. “That is comforting to know that others saw him as a good person as well.”
Davenport said if anyone has any information about the case, they should call 215-686-3334. Anonymous tips can also be left at 215-546-TIPS.
From our media partner PGN-The Philadelphia Gay News.