This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.
Jermain Crumpton was the Grinch when it came to Christmas.
His sister Sabrina Stubbins said she remembers Jermain always being stingy on Christmas – he rarely bought gifts for anyone. However, Jermain changed from the Grinch into Santa Claus on Christmas 2017 when he randomly decided to buy everyone presents.
“I was shocked when my mom told me Jermain got me a gift card for Christmas,” said Sabrina. “I immediately called him up to thank him and say I love you.”
It would be the last time Sabrina said “I love you” to her brother.
Jermain died in the nightly hours of January 3, 2018.
He had been robbed and shot multiple times the night before in his room at a Super 8 Motel in Clearwater, Florida, where he had been living.
Jermain’s homicide has never been solved. He was 45 years old.
Jermain grew up in the Clearwater area as the third of four kids. The children were inseparable growing up.
“We were a close-knit family and did everything together,” Sabrina recalled. “We especially loved to travel and have been all over the United States and Canada.”
As a kid, Jermain loved to watch cartoons and liked all types of music. Sabrina said she remembers loud music always coming from his room. He loved to eat and had a sweet tooth, with cakes and peanut butter cookies being his favorites.
As Jermain grew up, his kind-hearted and loving personality really began to shine. He was the type of person who wouldn’t rest until everyone around him was happy. Sabrina said Jermain was always there for his loved ones and would give anyone a helping hand.
At age 18, Jermain became a father to his daughter Tymara. After Tymara grew up, Jermain also helped raise his grandson.
Tymara described her father as funny. He would always joke around and could talk about anything.
Jermain worked hard as a cook but never spent much on himself. He would rather spend it supporting his family.
“He was paying for my mom and me to take real estate classes,” Sabrina said. “We couldn’t continue going after he passed.”
Sabrina still remembers that fateful January night. She was in bed when she received a phone call from her younger brother, Damion.
“You need to go to your mother’s house,” Damion said.
As she was driving to her mom’s house, Damion called again and told her to go to St. Pete’s hospital instead.
When she arrived at the hospital, the detectives were in the room. So were her two brothers and their mother. It was at this moment Sabrina realized her best friend was dead. She was lost for words and immediately ran out of the room crying.
“Why didn’t God take me instead?” Sabrina remembers asking a friend in the hospital lobby. “He was just a baby.” Although he was 45 years old, Sabrina still thought of him as her baby brother.
Clearwater detectives believe that Jermain’s robbery-homicide was a case of mistaken identity. Sabrina thinks some people know who shot her brother but are afraid of coming forward with the information.
To this day, there have been no new developments in Jermain’s case, and it remains unsolved.
“Coming forward with new information would bring answers to me and my mom,” Sabrina stated.
Everyone has different ways of mourning a loved one. Sabrina said her way is by meditating and writing poetry.
“When I write poetry, it’s like I’m speaking to Jermain,” she said.
Sabrina wants Jermain to be remembered as a loving father and grandfather. She even released specially designed shoes in honor of her brother.
“The best advice I can give to anyone dealing with loss is to never let someone tell you how to cope with your grief and find your outlet,” she said.
If you have any information on the unsolved murder of Jermain Crumpton, please call the Clearwater Police Department at (727) 562-4242.
Research & Impact
Project: Cold Case founder and executive director Ryan Backmann often says, “we don’t need to reach a million people, but we may have to go through a million people to reach that one person.”
Spotlight articles such as this one are incredibly important to allow the surviving family to control the narrative, but also allow the community an inside perspective into the world of cold cases. As we showcase what has been taken when someone is murdered and how the family continues to work forward while carrying the weight, we hope that many in the community will become invested in the cause.
Through these stories, we often hear from families and law enforcement that the community “knows more” about what happened on those fateful nights than what was offered to police. It’s vitally important that witnesses bring any information forward to investigators in order to get more cases solved.
While many survivors look toward breakthrough DNA technology to solve their loved one’s case, they may overlook the importance of witness relationships. Witnesses that were once reluctant to step forward previously may find it necessary to do so now. A change in relationship can often give a witness newfound comfort in the ability to come forward, leading to renewed interest and further investigation into the case from law enforcement.
Please consider using the buttons below to share this case in hopes that someone, somewhere will come forward and give this victim and family the answers they need and the justice they deserve.
If you have a loved one that is the victim of an unsolved homicide, please submit their case here for consideration in a future Cold Case Spotlight post.