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Loved ones mourn homicide victim as London police probe continues

Devon Cherrey-Rooke never wanted to be a burden.

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Devon Cherrey-Rooke never wanted to be a burden.

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Silke Genaille, 49, first met Cherrey-Rooke, 31, two years ago in her neighborhood near Hilton Avenue and Whitney Street in east London.

He was wet from the rain and didn’t even have socks, she said of their first encounter.

“I found him to be vulnerable. . . . I just took a liking to him, I don’t know why,” Genaille said.

The mother of two grown children told Cherrey-Rooke, known as White Boy around the neighborhood, that her door was always open.

“He came by, but he never took advantage of the kindness,” she said. “He would probably pop around twice a week and he never asked (for anything) but of course I twisted his arm.”

London police identified Cherrey-Rooke Tuesday as the city’s fourth homicide victim of 2022.

Cherrey-Rooke died in the hospital Sunday after emergency crews called to the area of ​​Clarke Road and Dundas Street around 6:30 am found him with a stab wound in a parking lot, police said.

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London police investigating a Sunday-morning homicide in east London converged on the parking lot of the Home Depot on Dundas Street at Clarke Road, where officers were seen collecting items and taking photographs.  DEREK RUTTAN/The London Free Press)
London police investigating a Sunday-morning homicide in east London converged on the parking lot of the Home Depot on Dundas Street at Clarke Road, where officers were seen collecting items and taking photographs. DEREK RUTTAN/The London Free Press)

Investigators haven’t made any arrests in the killing, the city’s only unsolved homicide of the year.

“Police continue to appeal to witnesses who have any information to contact London police or Crime Stoppers,” spokesperson Const. Krysten Howell-Harries said.

Howell-Harries declined to say whether investigators recovered any weapons from the scene.

“We’re not releasing any of that right now,” she said, citing the ongoing investigation.

Cassandra Cherrey said her younger brother was passionate about making music, writing, drawing and basketball.

“He loved his family,” she said, adding her sibling’s death has devastated the family. “We’re obviously not doing well. The circumstances surrounding his death are really horrific.”

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Genaille described Cherrey-Rooke as “a loner” who tried to appear tough – photos on his Facebook page show him posing with weapons – to be accepted in the east-end neighborhood.

“He didn’t strike me as a weak guy, but he wasn’t a thug either,” she said of the young man who referred to her as “Mamma.”

“He was just somebody who was lost, somebody who needed to know that somebody was there who cared for him.”

Court records show Cherrey-Rooke had multiple outstanding charges against him at the time of his death and two bench warrants were issued for him earlier this year.

Genaille, who last saw Cherrey-Rooke two days before his death, said he struggled with drug addiction for years and it was taking a toll on him physically.

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“My heart is just shattered,” she said. “I knew one day I would miss him.”

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Jan. 31: Gregory Cane, 38, charged with second-degree murder in the death of Stephen Hutchinson, 66, who was fatally stabbed outside his Springbank Drive home

March 11: Man, 52, charged with second-degree murder after woman found dead at Billybrook Crescent home. Neither victim nor accused can be identified under court-ordered publication ban.

July 12: Bradley Joudrey, 32, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jonathan Graham, 29, who died after being set ablaze near Admiral Drive and Trafalgar Street.

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