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Family Believes Murders Of Honor Student And His Cousin Are Connected

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Police investigate whether the murder of a 34-year-old Baltimore man on the Fourth of July is linked to the murder of 17-year-old honor student Michael Mayfield.

Police say the two are cousins and both crimes remain unsolved.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on what police are saying about any possible links between the homicides.

Baltimore City Police remain tight-lipped about a possible connection with those murders. The family of Michael Mayfield is not.

The murder of a 34-year-old man who was shot and killed on the Fourth of July could be a missing piece of a puzzle that could give clues to who shot and killed Michael Mayfield in April.

"In both of these cases, we definitely need the public's help," said Sgt. Jarron Jackson, Baltimore City Police.

Mayfield, a 17-year-old Edmondson-Westside High School student was shot while sitting in a car outside of his grandmother's home. His murder was deemed by police as a case of mistaken identity.

"It is heartbreaking when he have young people that are falling victim to violent crime in the city," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Over the holiday weekend, Mayfield's cousin Matthew Drake, who had several previous drug and gun charges, was shot and killed in the same area as Mayfield.

Ritchie: "Are the murders of Michael Mayfield or Matthew Drake connected in any kind of way?"

Sgt. Johnson: "We as a department have an obligation to evaluate every case on its own merits. If we find trends or commonalities with another case, we explore those options. And when the evidence presents itself."

But WJZ posed the same question to the teenager's family, who have a much different perspective.

"Yes. We do feel there's a connection. Michael really didn't fool with his father's side like that. He was going to visit his grandmother. That's the only person he really stayed in contact with," said Andre Baldwin, cousin.

No arrests have been made in either of the murders. Police have not indicated if they are any closer to finding out who the trigger men could be.

Mayfield's family says the last few months with no justice has been horrific. They are hoping the death of Drake could lead to the killer of Michael.

"It's a hard thing for us to deal with," said Baldwin.

Baltimore City Police say they will not make a connection between the two murders until they have concrete evidence that there is one in fear of tainting a jury pool.

Mayfield was set to graduate this year. He was planning to attend college in North Carolina.

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