Mother of woman killed in Providence grapples with grief, social media and anonymous reward

It was the day before gunfire on the street took the life of 24-year-old Miya Brophy-Baermann.

But well before shots were fired, the forces of the internet-driven Information Age were helping to set up the tableaux of grief that was to come for Miya’s mother.

She and her mother, Michelle, talked as the family drove home from a visit with her brother and sister-in-law in New Hampshire. They had forgotten the middle name of her brother’s wife.

Miya relied on her smart phone to get the name. Along the way, thanks to the bounty of information on the Internet, she learned something else: Another woman by the same name as her sister-in-law had been the victim of a homicide.

Miya’s mother was transported. She imagined the agony of losing Miya in such a way.

Miya Brophy-Baermann

Hours later, on Aug. 1, the police came to Michelle Brophy-Baermann's door. Her own ordeal began. But the earlier foreshadowing, courtesy of both happenstance and modern media technology, was part of her experience.

“Your imagination only takes you so far,” Miya’s mother said Monday afternoon.

A Rhode Island College political science professor with expertise in media culture, she reflected on that episode and others like it that she’s encountered on her path of grief.

The information environment of the 2020s has been part of the process, particularly recent online fundraising trends.

Miya Brophy-Baermann with her brother, Belamy, at his wedding.

Emergence of anonymous reward

Brophy-Baermann was answering a reporter’s questions Monday because, earlier in the day, radio host John DePetro had announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever shot and killed Miya on Olney Street early in the morning on Aug. 1.

The announcement of such a large reward in a homicide case has introduced something new to Rhode Island’s criminal justice system.

To qualify for the reward, the information must be “accurate” and “direct” and “deemed crucial,” the show says. If multiple people provide such information, the reward will be divided equally among those people, says the show, which describes itself as an “arbiter” of the reward.

The situation raises lots of questions that DePetro didn’t answer thoroughly during a brief email exchange. Where exactly is the money? Is the money donated or pledged? If the case goes unsolved for say, 20 years, how would the money be disbursed if someone provides the information and breaks the case?

“Twenty years from now?” DePetro said in an email. “I admittedly am in new territory here. I will tell you the reward is very real.”

The donors “are real and have been vetted,” he said.

Miya was a speech pathologist with expertise in communicative disorders. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, she had a master's degree in speech-language pathology from Northeastern University.

Remembering Miya Brophy-Baermann: Family of 24-year-old Providence shooting victim remember her as their 'light'

Miya Brophy-Baermann at her graduation from Northeastern University.

On the last night of July, the same day the family had driven home to Warwick from New Hampshire, she had put her pajamas on, her mother says. But a friend called. She changed into jeans and headed out late.

After spending time with friends late into the night, she was outside a house on Olney Street in Providence, where she continued talking to a friend.

A car drove past, carrying some speed, and shots ripped through the night, killing Brophy-Baermann, according to police, who say the shooting, at about 3:30 a.m., did not appear to be targeted.

The power of social media

Miya's mother says she got the news at 7 a.m. that morning.

As she grieved, a colleague suggested establishing a GoFundMe page.

She says she hadn’t feltmuch interest in such a mechanism for covering funeral expenses. But she warmed up to a fund that might do some good and honor her daughter at the same time.

In five days, she says, the page, dubbed Miya’s Voice, raised $50,000.

“That was really something else,” she says. “We just couldn't believe it. It was overwhelming.”

The fund has more than $60,000, and Brophy-Baermann says she expects it to reach $67,000, which would be enough to afford two “nice-sized scholarships.”

It poignantly demonstrated the power of social media, which also presents some downsides for a grieving mother.

“It's very hard to look at social media anymore because everybody's lives go on,” she says. “They have their families and the holidays. I have to avoid that as much as possible. I just focus on Miya's Voice.”

Last month, on Nov. 3, came an opportunity to talk on DePetro’s show.

“Politically we couldn’t be further apart,” says Miya’s mother.

But she says she felt DePetro asked some good questions when she and her husband first spoke to him. On the show they went.

Later last month, she was stunned to hear about the emergence of $100,000 in reward money.

“All kinds of people … were touched by what happened to Miya in some way and want to do something,” she says.

She says she does not want to make assumptions about anyone’s politics simply because they listen to DePetro’s show.

It’s possible, she says, these feelings about what happened to Miya come from both sides of the political divide.

“I would love if Miya's death could lead to some kind of conversation about guns, gun violence, polarization, media and how they talk about things,” Brophy Baermann says. “Violence. There is so much wrapped up in Miya's murder.”

Black Lives Matter RI PAC: Providence shooting scene is site of vigil, stage for politics

Miya Brophy-Baermann in scrubs.

But she remembers her initial desire to avoid politicizing her daughter's death. And so much money already seems to flow into the gun-control movement and without much impact, she says.

“We wanted something positive,” she recalls.

She and her husband also want whoever killed Miya to be held accountable.

“They took my daughter and they destroyed my life,” she says. “Her life and our lives.”

Providence police Detective Maj. David Lapatin says investigators are ready to work with information that leads to Miya's killer.

Anyone with such information can contact Providence police Detective Sgt. Timothy McGann at 401-243-6236.

More: Jurors find 22-year-old Central Falls man killed during roadway exchange

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: RI murder victim's mother grapples with aftermath of daughter's killing

News Related

OTHER NEWS

PRN Johor: PN tak beri BN laluan mudah, kata Muhyiddin

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Muhyiddin Yassin berkata, walaupun dilihat ‘underdog’, namun PN tidak akan beri laluan mudah untuk BN bentuk kerajaan negeri. PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional (BN) tidak ... Read more »

Tesla Confirms: First Cars From Giga Berlin Will Use 2170 Cells

© InsideEVs Tesla Giga Berlin: Quality Control See the latest photos from the factory floor. Tesla released an update regarding the Tesla Giga Berlin-Brandenburg plant in Grünheide near Berlin, Germany. ... Read more »

There can a diplomatic solution with China over Lithuania - Dombrovskis

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union and China can find a diplomatic solution over their spat on Lithuania, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Thursday, speaking shortly after ... Read more »

Centre's interest burden to be higher in FY23: Report

© Provided by CNBCTV18 dir=”auto”>Debt obligations and interest on borrowings often form a large part of a government’s expenses. But the Centre is likely to see a much higher interest ... Read more »

Julius Babao, excited na sa pagsisimula sa Frontline Pilipinas sa February 7

© Provided by PEP.ph “Excited na excited ako. Instantly felt at home dito sa ating Kapatid Network.” Ito ang reaksiyon ni Julius Babao nang opisyal siyang ipakilala kahapon, January 26, ... Read more »

Ipid: Top cop Sitole duty-bound to cooperate with investigations

© Christa Eybers/EWN FILE: National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole. JOHANNESBURG – Police watchdog Ipid said that National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole has a duty to cooperate with its investigations ... Read more »

What happened to Skins cast next – from becoming a stripper & chart-topping songwriter to horror cement truck accident

WITH wild partying, sex, drugs and booze by the bucketful, it’s not hard to understand why coming-of-age drama Skins was a Noughties success story. The TV hit, which first aired ... Read more »

Lawsuit claims Google and Facebook brokered secret deal to dominate ad market

Facebook's COO allegedly called it a 'big deal strategically' Read more »

Sagittarius Love Horoscope 2022: Will Your Love Life Be Smooth? Astrologer Predicts

We have been bringing you detailed love horoscopes for all zodiac signs all this while from our Astro expert and this time we will be talking about Sagittarius. Sagittarius is ... Read more »

Sue Gray latest news: 'Partygate' report into Boris Johnson being held up by legal checks

Sue Gray’s report into alleged Covid rule-breaking parties at Downing Street remains in limbo as legal checks delay its publication. The Whitehall mandarin’s findings were expected to be released as ... Read more »

INSIDE PICS and videos from Mouni Roy-Suraj Nambiar's wedding ceremony

© Provided by DNA Popular television and film actress Mouni Roy tied the knot with her beau Suraj Nambiar on Thursday, January 27, 2022, as per Malayali rituals in Goa. ... Read more »

Armed robbers hold up a Gqeberha clinic

© Winnie Theletsane/EWN CAPE TOWN – A Gqeberha clinic has been robbed. Armed robbers held up staff at the Kwamagxaki clinic on Wednesday making off with cell phones and other ... Read more »

FII holding in Nifty 500 stocks sinks to 6-quarter low amid sell-off

© Moneycontrol FII holding in Nifty 500 stocks sinks to 6-quarter low amid sell-off Shareholdings of foreign investors in Nifty 500 index companies nosedived to a six-quarter low in the ... Read more »

Australian Open 2022: High-octane Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis storm into men's doubles final

Australian Open: Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis roll into men’s doubles final Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, dubbed the “Special K” team, defeated the third-seeded pair of Marcel Granollers of ... Read more »

Micromax In Note 2 vs Realme 9i Compared: Its India vs China In This Budget Phone Battle

© Provided by News18 Micromax In Note 2 vs Realme 9i Compared: Its India vs China In This Budget Phone Battle With almost a month into 2022, the smartphone market ... Read more »

Masked Singer bosses forced to make major clue changes as fans rumble tricky answers

Bosses of ITV’s The Masked Singer have been forced to change the clues as fans have turned to Google to find out tricky answers. Viewers of the hit Saturday night ... Read more »

KIN at the Peacock Theatre review: Beckett with a drop of Python, but make it circus

© Alamy Live News. London, UK. 26th Jan, 2022. Performers from circus company Barely Methodical Troupe perform daring physical acrobatic feats from their new show KIN in Lincoln Inn Fields. ... Read more »

Rachel Zegler addresses sexual assault allegations against co-star Ansel Elgort

© Provided by Cover Media Rachel Zegler Rachel Zegler has addressed the sexual assault allegations against her West Side Story co-star Ansel Elgort for the first time. In June 2020, ... Read more »

Mortal Kombat sequel 'in the works'

© Bang Showbiz Mortal Kombat star Jessica McNamee has previously admitted she would love a sequel A ‘Mortal Kombat’ sequel is in the works. Simon McQuoid’s movie reboot of the ... Read more »

Smashed rackets, middle fingers and fine tennis: Nick Kyrgios through to Australian Open doubles final

© GETTY IMAGES Smashed rackets, middle fingers and furious rows: Nick Kyrgios through to Australian Open doubles final – GETTY IMAGES A packed and raucous Rod Laver Arena roared Nick Kyrgios and ... Read more »

Bigg Boss 15: Tejasswi Prakash's fans SUPPORT her in fight with Shamita Shetty; ask 'since when has aunty become offensive?'

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Bigg Bos 15 contestant Tejasswi Prakash has been slammed ever since she called Shamita Shetty ‘aunty’ in a task while she was giving massage to Karan ... Read more »

Athiya Shetty shines in the new sun-kissed photo, leaves beau KL Rahul lovestruck

In the recent past, cricket powerhouse KL Rahul and Athiya Shetty’s social media engagement has made it clear that things have become quite serious between the two. After making their ... Read more »

Madhuri Dixit's OTT Debut Series Finding Anamika is Now Called The Fame Game, to Release Feb 25 on Netflix

© Provided by News18 Bollywood icon Anamika Anand has it all but is her life perfect or a perfectly crafted facade? In a world of glitz, glamour and fame – ... Read more »

EXCLUSIVE: Nawazuddin Siddiqui builds his dream paradise ‘Nawab' in Mumbai

Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui doesn’t need any introduction. He is one actor who has made his place in the industry with his dedication and passion for work. He is one ... Read more »

Nagarjuna breaks silence about Samantha and Naga Chaitanya split, says actress filed for divorce

Nagarjuna (C) said that Samantha (R) was the first one to file for divorce. Samantha and Naga Chaitanya announced their separation after four years of marriage. Months after their announcement, ... Read more »

Explained: What triggered today's bloodbath on D-Street

Benchmark stock market indices plummeted on Thursday, leading to massive losses for Dalal Street investors. Both S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty 50 tanked shortly after markets opened today after ... Read more »

Rahul Gandhi Sounds Poll Bugle For Punjab Polls By Paying Obeisance At Golden Temple | SEE PHOTOS

© Surabhi Shaurya | India.com News Desk Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at Golden Temple Amritsar: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday sounded the poll bugle for the forthcoming Punjab Assembly ... Read more »

PLA Hands Over 'Missing' 17-yr-old from Arunachal Pradesh to Army, Tweets Rijiju, Medical Exam Underway

© Provided by News18 PLA Hands Over ‘Missing’ 17-yr-old from Arunachal Pradesh to Army, Tweets Rijiju, Medical Exam Underway The “missing” 17-year-old boy from Arunachal Pradesh, who was allegedly abducted ... Read more »

What is the latest with Josh Bowler's situation at Blackpool amid Nottingham Forest transfer speculation?

© Provided by Football League World Championship – Blackpool v Queens Park Rangers It’s been a transfer tug-of-war between the two sides so far this month, with Nottingham Forest desperate ... Read more »

Newcastle's problem in the transfer market? They may have too much money

Newcastle United have designs on being the kind of club that can do the biggest deals in football, but they may get their way in a manner they don’t really ... Read more »

Erling Haaland names three best players in the world with Cristiano Ronaldo missing out

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has given his verdict on the three best players in the world – with Cristiano Ronaldo snubbed from the Norwegian hotshot’s list. Haaland has been ... Read more »

Kristen Stewart Might Exchange Vows With Her Fiancée Dylan Meyer THIS WEEKEND

© Provided by Lehren Kristen Stewart Might Marry Her Fiancée Dylan Meyer THIS WEEKEND Kristen Stewart has recently teased that she might marry her fiancée Dylan Meyer ‘this weekend’ as ... Read more »

Smashed rackets, middle fingers and furious rows: Nick Kyrgios through to Australian Open final

© GETTY IMAGES Smashed rackets, middle fingers and furious rows: Nick Kyrgios through to Australian Open final – GETTY IMAGES A packed and raucous Rod Laver Arena roared Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi ... Read more »

"I'm told" - Source reveals left-back transfer update at Newcastle, now "speaking to two others"

© GiveMeSport Newcastle United celebrate scoring a goal vs Leeds United Transfer insider Dean Jones has revealed that Newcastle United are in talks with two potential back-up targets to Bayer ... Read more »

CSIR UGC NET Admit Card 2021 released, here's direct link to download

National Testing Agency, NTA has released CSIR UGC NET Admit Card 2021. Candidates who will appear for Joint CSIR UGC NET examination can download the admit card through the official site ... Read more »

India vs West Indies: 'Make the most of it', Twitterati laud cricketers as BCCI announce squads for white-ball series

© Provided by Firstpost India vs West Indies: ‘Make the most of it’, Twitterati laud cricketers as BCCI announce squads for white-ball series The Board of Control for Cricket in ... Read more »

Tamil Nadu Urban Local Body Polls 2022: Voting on February 19; counting of votes on Feb 22

© Provided by The Financial Express The SEC announced the poll schedule after the Madras High Court on Tuesday gave its nod to conduct the elections to urban local bodies ... Read more »

Kate Middleton to Deepika Padukone: 6 ways to style your pleated skirt with sweaters to stay warm & stylish

A few years ago, pleated skirts were the coolest thing in fashion. In bright solid tone colours, bold and bright metallics to subtle hues, every celebrity sported her version of ... Read more »

Fire breaks out at commercial building in Srinagar; no casualty reported

Fire breaks out at commercial building in Srinagar; no casualty reported A massive fire broke out at a commercial building in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar in the Rajbagh area on ... Read more »

Tamil Nadu Schools Likely to Reopen For Classes 10-12 From February

© Surabhi Shaurya | India.com News Desk Tamil Nadu Schools latest news Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government is likely to reopen offline classes in schools for students of classes 10-12 ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic