SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The family of a murder victim is speaking out, as well as a police detective who has lived with the responsibility of finding the killers. The cold case involving the shooting death of 22 year old Marlon Jamal Underwood heats up with the arrest of two people. Patricia Butterfield is Underwood’s first cousin and speaks out on behalf of the family. “it’s just a relief, it’s just like a weight off your shoulders to say, wow, it’s almost over.” Butterfield said. His mother, Tracy Underwood was on hand at SCMPD headquarters, but she’s still not up for interviews, but other family members, including Butterfield, surround her for support. Butterfield says the shooting leaves a hole in their life. “He was just a happy-go-lucky person and very, uh, I would say very emotional person, ’cause he always hugged or give me a little kiss on the cheek and say “Auntie I love you.” said Butterfield, love severed by gunshots.
Underwood died after being shot at the el cheapo convenience store in the eight hundred block of Tibet Avenue in October 4, 2015. Arrests in the case nearly two years after the fatal shooting is welcome news. “It’s just a relief, it’s just like a weight off your shoulders to say, wow, it’s almost over.” said Butterfield. She acknowledges it won’t be over until 26 year old Mylek Bigham and Anthony Martin stand trial in Chatham County. Both were arrested out of town and are awaiting transport to Savannah to face murder charges in connection with Underwood’s death.
Detective Christopher Ross, who diligently pursued the leads in the case, says there’s not greater payoff than making the call to a cold case victim’s family to tell them of an arrest. “Any time you can call a family and let them know that you’ve taken the necessary steps to bring a murderer into custody, um, it’s a good feeling and you want to share that information with the family.” Ross said. The family says it will be difficult to follow the case through court, but they will be able to get through because they’ve already forgiven the people police believe are responsible for Underwood’s death. “We was raised in the church and we were taught to forgive so we forgive them, but we still have to understand that you took something from us, you know, you took someone from us who we all love, so in order to go on, we have to forgive them, we have to forgive.” Butterfield said.