PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria resident Natalie Belcher, 34, should be celebrating another trip around the sun today. Unfortunately, she said that there will be no celebration today, as it will be the first time she will have to spend her birthday without her brother.
It has been 24 days since Nathan Michael Belcher, 35, of Peoria was murdered in an alley off of Spring Street. The Peoria Police Department (PPD) states that there are no suspects and will not comment on active investigations.
On Aug. 20, PPD responded to a report of shots fired near the 500 Block of Spring Street. When they arrived they found a man lying in the alley unresponsive with multiple gunshot wounds. The next day, that man was identified as Nathan Belcher.
Police, Advanced Medical Transport, and Peoria Fire were not able to revive Nathan.
Nathan left behind many family members, including his daughter Amelia Belcher. Amelia was born on Aug. 20, 2012; a decade later, her father was killed the same day.
But the biggest bond Nathan had built here on Earth was that of his younger sister, Natalie told WMBD. She expressed her frustration with the lack of answers she has been provided since her brother’s death.
Natalie and Nathan’s parents are both dead. The brother and sister were separated many times during their childhood through the foster care system, but Natalie said that they always found their way back to one another.
Since she wasn’t getting any answers from witnesses or police about her brother’s death, Natalie decided to take it upon herself to search for them.
She has returned to the murder scene on Spring Street each night since her brother’s death. Each day that passes, Natalie lights candles and places pictures of him along with quotes. She also ties blue ribbons around trees to represent addiction recovery awareness, because Nathan struggled with addiction.
However, Natalie told WMBD that she seeks no affirmation for the approach she has taken. She explained that she isn’t a religious person, nor one to seek the spotlight.
It doesn’t make me feel like any sort of grand person by doing this, it’s literally the bare minimum. It’s almost like he’s already forgotten, and they’re already on to the next homicide. Nathan’s not even in the news anymore. I just want to make sure nobody forgets his story, and I hope the person responsible for this sees his face every day on these posters. I have to keep coming here because if it was me who was killed, Nathan would’ve figured it out already. I’m going to figure this out.Natalie Belcher
The case remains under investigation by Peoria Police Department. There are no suspects at this time.
If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact Detective Beck at (309) 494-8480, Peoria Police at (309) 673-4521, tip411 (anonymous), or Crime Stoppers anonymously at (309) 673-9000.