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Mother pleas for answers after son’s van found on fire

<i>WSMV</i><br/>Amelia Griswould is pleading to get to the bottom of her son's apparent murder.
Amelia Griswould is pleading to get to the bottom of her son's apparent murder.

By Courtney Allen

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — A mother is pleading to get to the bottom of her son’s apparent murder.

Earlier this week, firefighters located a van in flames at a Baptist church in Goodlettsville. Police later identified the man found dead inside as 47-year-old Dewaine Leggs.

His mother, Amelia Griswould, is heartbroken. She said legs is the second child she has lost to senseless violence.

“I picture my child burning up,” Griswould said. “That is all I can see, and I don’t know if he was calling for me or saying ‘mama.'”

The image of her son’s van on fire is seared into Griswould’s mind.

“I don’t care if he was 47 or 87 years old,” Griswould said. “He was still my child.”

Police said Leggs was found dead in his van earlier this week. Police are describing it as an apparent murder after his car was found on fire in the parking lot of Parkway Baptist Church in Goodlettsville.

Griswould said Leggs told her he would buy a truck from someone and was planning to start a business doing yard work and painting houses. She said he had $1,600 on him and was going to a public place to buy the truck. Griswould said the last thing she told him was to be careful and that she loved him.

“I think he knew the people,” Griswould said. “I think someone set him up because they knew he wanted this truck.”

Griswould said Leggs was hanging with the wrong crowd and has a troubled past, but he didn’t deserve this.

“You didn’t give him life,” Griswould said. “How are you going to take it?”

She said no mother should have to bury their child, but now, Griswould has buried two. Her other son, 15-year-old DeVontae Ziegler died of gun violence back in 2015.

“It has done something to me this time,” Griswould said. “I am not sure how I am going to get through it right now.”

Griswould said she is leaning on her faith and prayer.

“They took him to the church where he died and set him on fire,” Griswould said. “They put him right in God’s hands. That is the only good thing I see in that.”

Griswould said to her knowledge, Legs didn’t have a connection to that church or Goodlettsville. He was living with her in Nashville. Anyone with information on his death should call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.

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