Andre Nathaniel Gray, 34, had been missing since October 23, 2014. In a press conference yesterday evening, the Pittsburgh Police disclosed that his body was found in the Ohio River in West Virgina with a gunshot wound. The police have ruled his death a homicide, and early this morning, charged a suspect in his death. Andre was an out gay man from the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He was involved in Project Silk, a program for young men and transgender women of color in the Pittsburgh area.
The press conference was extremely somber, with many of Andre’s family members present. His mother, grandmother, and brother expressed their devastation with this news, but also that they had accepted his passing and forgave those who ended his life. His mother, Victoria Gray Tillman said “I’m thankful to God for bringing my son home, so now I can begin my closure process. It’s been a long time coming.” Andre was reported missing on October 25, 2014, with his apartment ransacked and blood on his bed sheets – along with bleach. His car was later found partially burned in the North Side of Pittsburgh.
On March 20, 2015, Brooks County Sheriff and Follansbee Police Department in West Virigina discovered his body along the Market Street bridge, which stretches from Stubenville, Ohio to Follansbee, West Viriginia. He was positively identifed as Andre by the Coroner of Charleston, West Virginia. The Pittsburgh Police were notified on March 25, 2015 of his body being found. They ruled his death a homicide with their disclosure of his gunshot wound.
This morning, the Pittsburgh Police revealed they have charged Hubert Wingate, 30, in Andre’s murder. Wingate was already in an Allegheny County jail when he was charged. He was arrested on an open warrant for assault from Colorado, in Pittsburgh, where he had a concealed semi-automatic weapon on his person.
No substantive evidence or leads had been established as of yesterday evening. Pittsburgh Police Commander RaShall Brackney confirmed they did not yet have any suspect in custody or warrants for persons of interest in the case. Brackney firmly stated that “Our goal is to bring justice to Andre Gray.”
Victoria Gray Tillman said that “I’ve given God all the glory. I have forgiven them a while ago. That’s what I need. I need for them to confess what they have done. We are a forgiving family, a loving family. That’s what they need to do, turn yourself in.” Andre’s brother, Javon Hutcherson, echoed this plea to the murderer to “Turn yourself in. We love our brother…We forgive him, please turn yourself in.”
The Pittsburgh Police have been leading a search effort for Andre since last fall. LGBTQ community advocates had established a fund for donations to the family. The Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents have been pressing hard through regular posts for the continued investigation.
As the press conference was concluding, Victoria Gray Tillman additional shared how there has been “Lots of pain. Lots of suffering. Lots of prayers. I’ve said a prayers all day, everyday. Some days have been better than others. But, I knew all along that God had my son. I always felt that. Now that he has been found I can begin my process. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare of their child being out there – and it’s the not knowing. I thank God for all the people, the prayers, the friends, the family, who have come through, who have held me up, and let me know, but I thank God, for being God.”
Anyone with information on Andre’s murder is asked to please call the Pittsburgh Police homicide detectives 412-323-7161.