Friday, March 25, 2011
Out for Justice: Jean Baptiste Maurisma
He was a loving husband and father who came to Miami for a better life. But in October 1995, Jean Baptiste Maurisma was murdered, and today, his family isn't even sure why. In tonight's "Out for Justice," Channel 7's Patrick Fraser tells us that 15 years later, Miami Police are determined to find the killer.
WSVN -- Sometimes, you can tell what a person is like by talking to their children.
Evlyne is Jean Maurisma's daughter.
Evlyne Maurisma Maxime, Daughter: "He took us to school every day. He knew my teachers."
Amos is Jean's son.
Amos Maurisma, Son: "My father was my best friend. He was a man of God."
He was kind. He was caring. He was generous.
Claude Maurisma, Wife: "From my grocery money, if we have $40 for groceries, $20 would go to a needy family at that time."
Jean was also hard working, taking care of his wife and four kids by driving a jitney he owned with a partner.
"It was a jitney issue."
Fifteen years ago on a late October evening, Jean and his partner were fixing the brakes on their jitney, getting ready for the next day's work.
Detective Andy Arostegui, Miami Police: "We don't have any precise number of offenders. Came up and fatally just shot both of them."
Witnesses told police this man was in the area: a young black male with a dragon tattoo on his shoulder.
But the man was never found. If it was robbery, the killer got nothing. If there was another motive, it never turned up.
Detective Andy Arostegui: "And that's what makes this case so hard: when you don't have a clear-cut motive. When you have a motive, then it becomes somewhat easier to follow some trails or leads."
They say time heals all wounds. They are wrong.
Evlyne Maurisma Maxime: "I still talk about him like it was yesterday, and we're still trying to find out the end results, trying to find out who did this."
Patrick Fraser: "How can you solve a crime that is 15 years old? It's not easy, but it's possible. Killers talk. Odds are, they told people what they did to Jean and his friend. Detectives hope the people who heard the story will step forward, even if they are locked up behind bars."
Detective Arostegui: "A lot of times, these individuals that they speak to hold what we call a trump card, and these individuals sometimes try to cash in that trump card when it's needed."
Jean's family hopes someone wants to make a deal, because all they have now are memories to share about the great things a wonderful man did.
Claude Maurisma: "Whenever we're driving by and see a car stop on the side of the road, my husband would stop."
They say the good die young. This time, they are right. But they also say you get what you deserve in life. Jean didn't. And his killer or killers haven't. Yet.
Amos Maurisma: "It's been 15 years. I can forgive, but there needs to be a closure."
Somebody knows something. If you are a good person, tell police and collect a reward. If you are in jail, tell police and maybe get a break. No matter who you are, give the killers what they deserve: Some time in a cell.
And if you know of murder victim you think people have forgotten about, give us a call. You will see there are many people "Out for Justice."
Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers: 305-471-TIPS (8477)
Out For Justice: 305-598-HELP (4357) in Miami-Dade or 954-796-HELP (4357) in Broward