Say Her Name: DeVonna Walker, A 29- Year-Old Black Woman Was Murdered By Her White Neighbor And Charges Have Not Been Pressed

Rosalyn Morris
4 min readJan 11, 2023

Devonna walker, a 29-year-old mother of three, was murdered last Monday, January 2, at her own home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This occurred at the Cambridge Townhomes on the NE (northeast) side of Cedar Rapids.

Devonna, who gave birth to a baby girl just two months ago, was fatally stabbed by a man whose identification has not been released by the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

In fact, the same night that Devonna was fatally stabbed, the unnamed murderer was questioned and released by local authorities.

What’s going on?

I’ve been waiting to write about this because so few details are known at the time. There is no statement from the police, no names — or even descriptions — of the suspects, and no followup has been done by the Cedar Rapids Police Department since the night of the murder — January 2, 2023.

Listen to Devonna’s mother, Lasean Boles. She says:

The harsh part is y’all ain’t kept me up informed on nothing at all. You ain’t knocked on my door.

It is believed that the senseless murder was racially motivated. Could this be why the two people involved were questioned, and released, the same night of the murder, with no followup with Devonna’s family by the Cedar Rapids police?

In fact, the police didn’t even contact Devonna’s mother, Lasean Boles, after Devonna was taken to the hospital the night of her murder. Instead, on Friday, Lasean had to go to the police station herself, demanding answers about what happened to her daughter, whose body remained at the crime lab.

Her mother, Lasean Boles, says:

I want to know what’s going on. How come no one’s knocked on my door, no police, nobody’s contacted me. I dont know…I don’t even know where my baby at. I ain’t seen her since this all happened.

This Monday, January 9, there was a peaceful protest by two dozen at the Linn County Courthouse. There were chants of say her name and a sign read Justice For Devonna.

https://www.kwwl.com/news/cedar-rapids/cedar-rapids-family-members-seeking-answers-around-womans-killing/article_4f5c3a8c-906d-11ed-960d-b78f4d8cc3e1.html

The Cedar Rapids police department says there’s no updates that they can release right now.

Devonna’s sister, Manika Petties, had this to say:

There’s too many times that people are losing their lives. There’s too many times when women are being killed, being hurt, and nobody’s doing nothing about it, and it’s time that it stop.

Listen to Devonna’s friend, Alex Daniels, about what was happening between Devonna and her neighbors, an unnamed white couple.

Daniels says the weekend before her murder, Devonna came and stayed with her at a hotel because “she didn’t want to be at home. She didn’t feel safe at home.”

Devonna was harassed by her neighbors because of her race and she felt unsafe in her own home at least for several weeks. At least one neighbor had threatened her and called her a racial slur.

Devonna had previous altercations with her neighbors, a white couple, who allegedly also wished death upon her.

There isn’t much information about what led to Devonna’s murder that night. What we do know is that Devonna lost her life, and nothing is being done about it.

According to the family’s GoFundMe:

On January 2, 2023, a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend’s life was taken due to a racist and senseless act. Devonna Walker was at her home in Cedar Rapids with friends outside of her apartment when her neighbors started to argue with her. This was not the first encounter that she had with this couple. Previously the couple had called out racial slurs and wished death upon her. On this particular night during the argument, a fight broke out between DeVonna and the other female. During the fight, the male came out of the apartment and stabbed Devonna at least two times. It was at this time a life was lost. The Cedar Rapids Police Dept has not filed any charges with either female or male involved.

Devonna got into a physical altercation with the still unnamed woman, and the unnamed man went into their apartment, came out with a knife, and fatally stabbed Devonna.

Today, the family will gather outside the Cedar Rapids Police Station at 3p.m. to protest and demand answers.

The family demands, and deserves, justice.

If you would like to help, the number to the Cedar Rapids Police Station is,

319–286–5491

I called and they told me they were not commenting on pending investigations.

This is the family’s GoFundMe. Devonna leaves behind three children: two sons (aged 14 and 7) and a 2-month-old daughter.

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