Almost 14 years after his twin brother was kidnapped, held for ransom and eventually killed, Darwin Green could only shake his head Sunday at the news that authorities had charged four men in the murder.
"I had this feeling over the last 13 years that they weren't doing nothing," Green said of the FBI and state's attorney's office, whose investigation had gone cold.
Dimeyon Cole, 30, Kevin Mitchell, 46, Menard McAfee, 38, and Raymond Winters, 46, were charged Sunday with first-degree murder in the death of Darryl Green, according to the office of Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Prosecutors say that on June 18, 1999, the four men abducted Green at gunpoint from a Broadview beeper store that he co-owned with his brother. The kidnappers bound Green, 28, and took him by van to a home on Chicago's West Side. There they made several phone calls to Darwin Green, asking for a cash ransom to secure his brother's release.
"At first, I thought someone was playing a prank," Green said in an interview at his home on Sunday. "Then I went to the shop and (Darryl) was gone."
Green recalled his last conversation with the kidnappers, in which he told them he was "trying to get some money together." Green remembers sensing that the kidnappers suspected him of alerting the police.
In their final call, the kidnappers told Green to "make arrangements for your brother," according to a police recording of the call.
The kidnappers then put Green into the van and drove to a secluded area near 20th Avenue and Grant Street in Gary, according to a news release from the state's attorney's office. Witnesses saw four people exit the van and carry a person into the woods, according to the release. Gunshots were heard shortly after.
Darryl Green's body, with three gunshot wounds to the head, was later found by police.
Darwin Green said it was "a relief" to think that his brother's killers were finally behind bars, but the news raised more questions than answers.
Why had it taken so many years for investigators to identify the killers? What was the key piece of evidence that helped solve the case?
"It was just piecing together as much evidence as possible, continuing to develop those bits and pieces," said state's attorney spokeswoman Sally Daly. The state's attorney's gang crimes unit's persistent gathering of information about gangs played a big role, Daly said.
Green expects there will be no answer to his most pressing question: "Why did they pick my brother to kill?"
Prosecutors say the four men had affiliations with the Black Souls and the Vice Lords street gangs. Green said his brother was not in a gang and he doubted if his brother even knew the men.
"If he knew them, I would have known them," Green said, insisting that he did not recognize any of the four men, whose pictures were included in the news release announcing the charges.
Cole, who is from Chicago, is expected in Cook County Bond Court on Monday, Daly said. McAfee and Winters, who are currently in state prison on other charges, are expected to appear in Bond Court within a week or two. Mitchell, who is from Jeffersonville, Ind., will have to be extradited from Indiana, Daly said.
According to the Illinois Department of Corrections website, McAfee is serving a 50-year sentence for murder and Winters is serving a 25-year sentence for an attempted armed robbery.
Police initially suspected Mitchell of involvement in the Green killing because he drove a van like the one witnesses saw in Gary. Four months after the murder, police stopped Mitchell and searched the van, finding evidence with Green's DNA during that search. But authorities did not feel they had enough evidence to bring charges, according to the release.
Investigators later linked the phone that was used to make ransom calls to a prior address for Winters. Further investigation by the FBI and the gang crimes unit turned up additional evidence and witnesses, but the state's attorney's office did not provide any details about those developments.
Darwin Green said he was surprised by the news. The last time he heard from the state's attorney's office was about three years ago, he said. Officials had assured him then that the investigation was still ongoing, but he was doubtful.
Green learned of the charges Sunday morning from a friend who called after hearing a report on the radio.
Darwin and Darryl Green were identical twins who co-owned two businesses together.
After the murder, Darwin Green kept operating "Beep the Twinz," the beeper shop at 2124 S. 17th Ave. in Broadview where Darryl was kidnapped. He eventually closed the shop but continues to operate the brothers' other business, Twins Towing.
Darryl "was a hard worker," Green said. "He didn't do nothing to nobody."
Tribune reporter George Knue contributed.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun