EL DORADO, Ark. (8/12/20) — An El Dorado High School football player’s death remains unsolved one year after he was murdered.
Octavius “Tay” Critton Jr., 17, was found with three gunshot wounds on August 11, 2019 near a home in the 1200 block of California Street.
The El Dorado Police Department (EPD) says officers were originally called to the 1200 block of Detroit St. just after 11:30 p.m. A wounded man, identified as Juston Alex Mayweather, was also shot. His injuries were non life-threatening.
Octavius was killed five days after his 17th birthday and two days before his senior year of high school. His family members say it almost feels the incident just happened.
“When someone takes your loved one you’ll never get over it,” Octavius’ grandmother, Debra Willis said. “Everything still feels like a dream to us. I know one day justice will be served.”
Octavius was a rising star on the football team and a young man with welding skills who never had a chance to reach his full potential.
Bobby Ford, Octavius’ uncle, is coping with life without his nephew while helping his little sister, Octavius’ mother, fight through this unbearable loss.
“Whatever the police can do. Do it. It’s taking a toll on her.”
Investigators say they are sifting through information and leads but they need the right person to help close this case.
El Dorado Crime Stoppers has increased the reward to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest. The family hopes that person will be convicted to speak up.
“It’s not snitching,”Octavius’ cousin, Debie Atkins said. It’s doing what’s right.”
The teen would have turned 18 on August 6th and missed out on his high school graduation last month. The El Dorado School District paid tribute to him by placing a gown on the chair he would’ve sat in during the ceremony.
Joyce Johnson, Octavius’ aunt, knows the tragic incident has taken a toll on the family but it’s even taken a toll on the youth.
“The day he got killed and on his birthday, they were just crying. They went to his grave. They shared memories,” Johnson said. “This affects all of our young people. It could’ve been anyone’s young child.
“It’s been a lot of stuff that’s been happening ever since that,” Ford said. “His best friend took his life. It’s heartbreaking. We just want justice.”
Octavius’ parents are each coping with their son’s loss.
A $500 scholarship was given out to one El Dorado high school graduate in his honor on behalf of a family business, Empire Properties.
Even though time continues to pass, the family says Octavius’ smile, presence and personality can never be replaced.
There is a $2,500 reward for any information leading to an arrest. If you have any information about this case you can contact 870-863-INFO. You will remain anonymous.