MIAMI BEACH(CBSMIAMI) – As Miami Beach police release new surveillance in the murder of a woman who was working with them in a human trafficking case, the family of the victim is speaking out.
Miami Beach PD has identified the suspect as 33-year-old Keith Brown and the victim as 32-year-old Latoya Michelle Wiggins.
“This woman was a participant and a cooperative witness in an open and separate human trafficking case and our detectives are trying to see if there’s any connection between these two cases,” said Miami Beach police officer and spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.
“We need to interview him and get his side of the story and it’s important that we get a dangerous man off the streets,” Rodriguez added. “He has an extensive criminal past that includes prostitution charges.”
Rodriguez also said this case shows how seriously Miami Beach police take such human trafficking cases.
The crime happened early Sunday morning near 10th Street and Collins Avenue.
Other surveillance tape obtained by CBS4 showed worried people scattering after the shots were fired. One witness said he heard four shots.
Police say it’s not known why Wiggins was shot just before she was to celebrate her 33rd birthday on Saturday of next week.
Family members said Wiggins, a mother of one, had “gotten in trouble in Miami.”
In a phone call with CBS4’s Hank Tester, Wiggins’ mother said she has no doubts it was Brown who killed her daughter.
“When the police man called me to tell me she was dead, I knew he had killed her,” said Tonya Wiggins, who lives in North Carolina.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench spoke exclusively with Brown’s grandmother, Roberta Flennory, at her home in Northwest Miami-Dade.
“He’s a good person,” she said, “but he has some serious mental health problems. He doesn’t seem right in the mind to me. He served time in prison. He did 10 years.”
“Did you think he would be OK after that,” she was asked.
“No, because I asked him if he got the help he needed for some mental health issues and he did not face it. He did not want to admit it. I feel bad because he went to jail and he didn’t get the help he needed. I feel bad because he rejected the help he needed. He didn’t want to admit that there was a problem.”
She also said she was surprised to hear that police were looking for her grandson for the murder of Wiggins.
“He can drive,” she said. “But how is he going to get to the beach. He has a license but it is suspended and he has no tag.”
Wiggins’ aunt on the other hand said Brown was trouble.
“It was not a healthy relationship for her – lots of arguments and I have been encouraging her to get out of the situation,” said her aunt, Tosha Brown. “She had plans to come home at the end of this month, but unfortunately she did not make it.”
Anyone with information that can help Miami Beach police should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).
There’s a reward of up to $3,000.