Boston Police’s newest Cold Case Squad detective determined to make a difference

BOSTON — Boston Police Detective Marivelle Crespo is the BPD’s newest addition to the Cold Case Squad. And she cannot wait to fully get started.

“It’s an amazing feeling to bring it all together. I am eager to bring more to the table,” Crespo said during a recent interview at BPD headquarters.

Marivelle became a BPD officer in 2003. Five years later, she was assigned to the BPD Homicide Unit, where she served as a victim witness resource officer working with families and witnesses impacted by homicide. In February, Marivelle was promoted to detective and joined the Cold Case Squad. She is now reviewing her first five cases.

“I’m very eager, very optimistic to bring justice to families. And even if we don’t bring justice to families, we can help to make them understand there is a process. It’s a challenge, and hopefully one day they will know what happened to their loved one,” Crespo said.

Detective Crespo brings to her unsolved case investigations a unique perspective, one born out of heartache and personal tragedy. On May 7, 1988, Detective Crespo’s brother, William Medina, was shot to death in a double homicide in Roxbury.

The murder of William Medina and Antonio Dos Reis went unsolved for decades. Marivelle was just 16 when her older brother was murdered.

“It was a defining moment for me when my brother was killed back in 1988,” Crespo explained. “I had choices to make at that moment. I had to choose which way I was going to live my life, better myself and the lives of my family so we can move forward and continue to seek justice for my brother.”

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Marivelle Crespo’s choice was to become a Boston Police officer. Crespo worked hard. She graduated Northeastern University’s criminal justice program and landed an internship with the Boston Police Department before she was hired.

Her sister, Zenaida Flores, made the same choices for the same reasons. But in 2002, a year before Crespo joined the Boston Police Department, Zenaida was shot in the line of duty in Chinatown. Officer Zenaida Flores was nearly killed.

Those life experiences only made Marivelle Crespo more devoted to her police work.

“I do it for her, for my family. And I do this for other survivors, our community,” Marivelle said.

In 2017, 29 years after Marivelle’s brother was murdered, Boston Police Homicide detectives still working the case got a major break. They arrested Carleton Henderson, 52, in St Louis, Mo.

Boston 25 News interviewed Crespo when her brother’s case was solved.

“It’s actually surreal, we’re still trying to digest it,” Marivelle said in 2017.

Now, Marivelle Crespo is joining the same squad that brought her family justice, and she is promising to bring the same determination to her cases that other detectives brought to her brother’s.

“It’s very challenging, but they never gave up. Being here now, I’m never giving up!” Crespo said.