Retired homicide investigator says ‘Precious Doe’ case lingers long in his memory

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In honor of “Precious Doe,” organizers turned what would have been the 20th birthday of Erica Green into a push to save other lives.

The 3-year-old’s remains were found back in 2001, and weren’t identified as Green until 2005. Some police investigators took her death personally.

FOX 4 heard from a now-retired homicide detective who investigated the case. It’s one that will always stay with him.

On Monday evening there was a birthday celebration for Green at a park near 59th and Kensington. However, it wasn’t  isn’t like most, in that the birthday girl wasn’t there to blow out the candles.

One woman recalled, “She had a life. She was  living breathing little doll that was almost 4 years old.”

“As long as people keep her in their hearts, there’s hope for mankind the way I look at it,” said retired police sergeant David Bernard.

In his 21 years working homicides, no case hit him quite like this one.

“Something like this you don’t just leave at the office at 5 o’clock when you go home. You take it home with you,” said Bernard.

“I’d wake up in the middle of the night thinking, 'okay, tomorrow, here’s what I’m going to do. I’ve got an idea, we’re going to try this,'” Bernard continued.

Little did he know that the case would take nearly five years to solve, with Green's mother and her husband being convicted in death.

Bernard calls it one of the most frustrating cases he’s ever had to work. In honor of Green, organizers hope to prevent more senseless deaths in Kansas City.

“We’ve got babies dying, we’ve got men dying, women dying, whether it’s domestic violence, we’ve got young babies killing themselves, we have bullying going on. It’s just killing, and the message is about living and loving each other,” said Teresa Perry, who’s on the Precious Doe Committee.

Organizers passed out pamphlets letting people know of the resources available no matter what the situation.

“We love every in this community and we need to make sure we bring the love back,” said Perry. “We’re begging everybody, we’re here, we’re here, we’ve been here. Please call,” said Edith Fine-Duskin.

State representative Brandon Ellington was on hand to honor those already leading the way in that effort.

Information was given out on the following groups:
100 Men of Blue Hills

AdHoc Group of Kansas City 

Momma on a Mission

Kansas City Mothers in Charge

Giving Yourself Real Love

Concerned Clergy of Kansas City