The untold story of Brian Sullivan's murder
CHILI, N.Y. -- 10 years ago, a 19-year-old Chili man seemingly vanished. That missing person case would eventually turn into a murder investigation. For the first time, investigators have revealed what they believe happened.
July 8th, 2007.
That would be the last time anyone ever saw Brian Sullivan. Just 11 days later, the first clue came that Brian wasn't coming home.
A confidential informant told police they heard, "Brian was stabbed to death by a black male that frequented the Chili Ave. area."
"We learned pretty quickly, within a few weeks, that they thought Brian had been harmed. We weren't told the whole story, that part is very hard,” said Brian’s mother, Barbara Sullivan.
Barbara now knows much of the story.
By day 17, police had a suspect. A tip to Crime Stoppers identified Derrick Murray. The tipster said Murray and Sullivan were doing drugs together and that when Sullivan made a sexual advance, a fight ensued. A knife was involved and Murray, "stabbed Sullivan an unknown number of times," according to that source.
A third source said Murray was injured in the fight, noting that he saw him wearing a bandage on his hand.
Yet another source would tell police that Murray had confided in a number of family members and, "solicited those family members to assist in concealing Brian's vehicle and body."
"People know, they know and they are not saying, and why they are not saying anything is beyond me. They cannot sit there and say it's because Derrick didn't do it, because Derrick did do it. They know Derrick did it,” said Brian’s sister Brittney Sullivan.
A year and half into the investigation, police actually listened to a conversation between Murray and a confidential informant. That informant asked if Murray was sleeping at night.
Murray responded, "It's a crime mother ******, how would you sleep at night?” The CI asked if Murray was afraid police would find Brian's body to which Murray responded, "Yep."
Murray told another police source, "they will never find him if I don't tell them."
In the summer of 2016, police planned to take Murray into custody and hoped to find Brian’s remains. In August, Derrick Murray died of natural causes. For Brian Sullivan’s family, it was a heartbreaking roadblock.
"Derrick got to be an uncle. He got do to those things, be an uncle, be a brother. My brother didn't get to do that. Brian didn't get to do that. He missed everything, and its Derrick's fault,” said Brittney Sullivan.
"This is who we are looking for, we're not looking for that 19-year-old kid. We are looking for our baby. We want to bring him home,” said Barbara Sullivan, holding a baby picture of Brian.
While Murray is dead, investigators say his secret is not. 14 independent sources identified him as the suspect and Murray admitted his role in six conversations overheard by police. They are convinced his family helped cover up this crime and know where to find Brian. The Sullivan family says they will never give up.
"I think it's time for them to come forward. They can do it anonymously, because we are not going to go away, and I'm not going to stop looking,” said Barbara Sullivan.
"Every anniversary, every birthday, every anything we will be there and so will Derrick Murray's name,” said Brittney Sullivan.
The Sullivan family is offering $2,500 reward for information that leads to Brian’s whereabouts. Crime Stoppers also has an additional reward. You can call (585) 423-9300 with any tips.