Yellow crime-scene tape remains on a garage door and, on the ground nearby, individuals have brought candles to create an impromptu memorial at the site where Denzle Rainey was beaten to death.
The garage door and memorial are located a short distance south from East Jefferson Drive, in the dirt alley between the 3600 blocks of South Grant and South Sherman streets. The neighborhood is a quiet area with a mixture of single-family houses and duplex units.
A woman who lives in the neighborhood but refused to give her name said the Rainey family used to live in the area, and Forsythia Owen, the suspect in the man’s death, lived close by.
“Something happened to the Rainey family, Denzle fell on bad times and he became homeless,” she said. “But he stayed in the area.”
The Englewood resident said a mattress showed up in the alley and that was where Rainey regularly slept. She said Rainey was OK and didn’t deserve to die like this.
According to information on his Facebook page, Rainey grew up in Englewood and attended Sheridan High School. He also posted that he had worked at King Soopers. He also apparently had four sisters.
His postings included pictures of his children and, starting in August, he wrote that he and his wife had broken up and he was homeless. Later postings indicated he was despondent and many of them included references to “ending it all.”
A memorial service was held Oct. 2 in Jefferson County.
The crime scene is fairly close to the grassy area and bike path along Big Dry Creek where Rick Porter, who lives in a nearby apartment, said he regularly walks his dog and had become acquainted with Rainey. He said the man was obviously down on his luck but was always friendly and never asked for money. He said the greenbelt and surrounding area is a quiet neighborhood, and it was a shock to learn that Rainey had been beaten to death and a local woman was being charged with the crime.
When a car pulled up to the curb on Jefferson Drive near the mouth of the alley, Cynthia Lancaster got out. She said she drove to Englewood to see where the tragedy involving Owen and Rainey happened.
“I used to live in Englewood and I knew Denzle and his wife Lisa, and I also met Forsythia once but didn’t know her very well,” she said. “The Rainey family seemed like nice people and a while ago, I was shocked when I heard things were bad for Denzle, he had started drinking and was homeless.”
She said her heart hurts for both families.
“I know the Raineys had children and I think Forsythia did too,” Lancaster said. “Now each family is without one of the parents.”