Murder of Keonte Chavis by cousin Christian Grissom Jr investigated on American Monster

Mugshot of Christian Grissom
Christian Grissom was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of cousin, Keonte Chavis. Pic credit: AL Dept. of Corrections

American Monster is examining the murder of Keonte Chavis from Phenix City, Alabama, who was killed and dumped in a remote wooded area by her cousin, Christian Grissom Jr.

Keonte was just 19 years old and had achieved a scholarship to Alabama State University when her life was viciously taken from her by a close family member.

She was reported missing on August 7, 2014, sparking a frantic search by members of her family. Those on the search were surprised that her cousin, Grissom, was not helping out during this family crisis.

Sadly, the remains of Keonte were found in the woods near Seale, Alabama, approximately 16 miles to the southwest of Phenix City. It was difficult for the investigators to retrieve forensic evidence as the body had decomposed rapidly due to heavy rains and high humidity.

The last person to be seen with Chavis was Grissom; witnesses had spotted them traveling in Grissom’s Honda on August 6, and they were later recorded on security camera footage in a liquor store.

The two cousins were thought to have had a close relationship; they had grown up together in New York state but were separated when 12-year-old Chavis moved to Alabama to live with her great-grandmother. But up until that point, they had been like brother and sister.

So family members were particularly baffled that Grissom had fled just as his cousin went missing. The police were becoming increasingly suspicious of Keonte’s cousin and increased their efforts to locate him.

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Evidence mounted against Christian Grissom Jr

Suspicions were increased when the police examined data from a cellphone tower, indicating that Grissom had used his phone in the same area where his cousin’s remains were found. What’s more, eyewitnesses came forward to say they’d seen him cleaning his car.

The cops learned that Grissom had driven back to his mother’s house in Ulster County, New York, and he was arrested by sheriff deputies on August 11. A search of the killer’s car revealed Keonte’s blood was on the inside roof of the vehicle.

In September 2017, a jury convicted Christian Grissom Jr. of murdering Keonte Chavis, and he was subsequently sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

After the conviction, Keonte’s father, Anthony Chavis, told the press: “A lot of young beautiful women in the family now have to take in consideration not just predators outside, but sometimes it can be a predator inside the family circle.”

More from American Monster

Follow the links to read about more horrific crimes perpetrated by American monsters.

Lisa Whedbee began having an extra-marital affair with Michael Frazier and then started encouraging him to kill her husband, Robert Whedbee. Robert awoke one night to find Frazier standing over him with a baseball bat and his wife calling out: “You’ve got to do it. Just do it now.”

The police believe that Tracey Richter murdered her neighbor’s son Dustin Wehde in a hair-brained scheme to frame her ex-husband for murder. Richter had persuaded Dustin to take part in her scheme before she turned on him.

American Monster airs at 8/7c on Investigation Discovery.

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