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One year later, Paige Stalker case remains unsolved

New scholarship will honor her memory

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 29, 2015

 Paige Stalker

Paige Stalker

DETROIT/GROSSE POINTE WOODS — It has been one year since Paige Stalker was fatally shot in Detroit in a murder case that remains unsolved. 

The 16-year-old University Liggett School student, who would have graduated this spring, left behind family and friends who miss her every day.

One year after gunfire took her life, Paige’s classmates at Liggett, in Grosse Pointe Woods, have found a way to honor her memory.

Every year, the senior class votes on a legacy gift to present to the school. This year, the Class of 2016 — of which Paige was a member — voted to create an educational scholarship in her name. 

“We felt really strongly we should honor her,” senior Madison Jerome said. 

The Paige Stalker Scholarship will support the tuition of a Liggett student every year. 

“It will go to someone who has her qualities, who is a hard worker and dedicated,” Jerome said. “I think she would be completely honored. ... She would be really happy.”

Jerome met Paige in ninth grade. The pair got to know each other in their craft of writing class. 

“She was new to Liggett her freshman year. She was pretty shy at first,” Jerome said. “She was really smart and always had a smile on her face. She always brought life to the classroom. She was pretty great.”

Jerome and the other students at Liggett were shocked when news spread via social media that their classmate had been killed. 

“It was almost surreal,” Jerome said. “No one knew if it was true.”

In the aftermath, Liggett staff kept the lines of communication open for students who wanted to talk about the incident. 

“We had a lot of meetings about it. We had assemblies,” Jerome said. “There was therapy for people. As a class, we talked about it. Some days are harder than others.”

On Dec. 22, 2014, a man got out of a vehicle armed with an assault rifle and fired at a car full of teens in the area of Philip and Charlevoix in Detroit, killing Stalker. Detroit Police have yet to solve the case. 

Anonymous people have donated money for rewards through Crime Stoppers and the Detroit Crime Commission. Reward money currently is at $162,000.

“I can’t believe one year has gone by,” Paige’s mom, Jennifer Stalker, said. “We’re still trying to find justice.”

Jennifer Stalker called the Liggett scholarship “a wonderful tribute to my daughter.”

“It’s a good way to remember Paige. It’s just so heartfelt. I love it,” Jennifer Stalker said. “Paige’s name will continue on at the school, which she loved. She loved Liggett. Her first priority was to get her homework done.”

Paige Stalker aspired to work in the field of obstetrics and gynecology “to help deliver babies,” her mom said. The teenager planned to attend the University of Michigan. Jennifer Stalker said that on the first day of her ninth-grade year, her daughter called the college to find out what she needed to do to be accepted into the school. 

“She was a very loving, caring child. She loved children,” Jennifer Stalker said. “She was very organized and self-driven. I’m just so proud of her all the time.”

Outside of school, Paige Stalker worked as a nanny and also volunteered at Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe City.

“She was a greeter at the front door. She would help register patients. She would discharge patients. She loved it,” Jennifer Stalker said. “She got to know a lot of the other volunteers.” 

In light of the tragedy, Jennifer Stalker became involved in Save Our Children’s Future of Michigan, an organization of metro Detroit residents working together to promote safer neighborhoods. 

“We’ve been really busy with our new foundation. The mission is to keep all of our children safe from harm,” Jennifer Stalker said. “Every day, we meet new people going through the same type of situation. It has helped with healing.”

Liggett senior Logan Brown was friends with Paige Stalker. The two met during their first year at the school. Their friendship grew in Spanish class. 

“We had a project together. It was a lot of work,” Brown said. “That was our first time bonding together. It really brought us together.”

Brown and Paige Stalker had plenty in common, including their dedication to their studies. 

“We always had our heads in the books,” said Brown. “She had a great personality. She was very nice, sweet, very kind, hardworking, determined and very funny.”

Brown feels that the Paige Stalker Scholarship is “something that embodies her spirit.” Brown remembers how the students banded together at the news of Paige Stalker’s death. 

“We all really came together and supported each other,” Brown said. “You would never think something like this would happen. It’s still hard, but it does get better. You have to think about how she would want you to carry on.” 

To make a monetary donation to the Paige Stalker Scholarship fund or for more information, contact Kelley Hamilton at khamilton@uls.org or at (313) 884-4444.

For further information on Save Our Children’s Future, visit www.saveourchildrensfuture.com.