It's been nearly a year since a local teenager was found dead, but still the case remains unsolved.
Sixteen-year-old Dequavious Southward was shot and killed on Bethany Street in Saginaw just two days before Christmas 2012. Now the teen's mother is pleading for police to take action as the anniversary of his death draws near.
"It just feels like a nightmare," Banesha Hamilton. "I just want to go back to sleep and wake and wish it never happened. The more it gets closer to that day, it just gets harder and harder."
"I just couldn't believe that he was actually out there laying on the ground, shot, dead," said Hamilton.
Hamilton is so upset she won't even put up a Christmas tree, saying it's too painful of a reminder of the son she lost. Making things worse, southward died on his younger brother's birthday, forcing the mom to mourn the loss of one child while trying to celebrate the birth of another on the same day.
So what do police have to go on? Are they are any encouraging clues? The answers to those questions remain unclear, but a member of the victim's family has a theory. A potential witness talked to Shirley Hamilton, Southward's grandmother, and she was told her grandson was approached by people driving a black car. Then he was shot five or six times and the car drove off. The older Hamilton says the teen's death is a case of mistaken identity. Unfortunately for this family, that person has not gone to the authorities.
"If somebody could say that much to me, they could tell the police the same thing they told me," said Shirley Hamilton.
Southward's loved ones blame everybody -- they say that the police should be working harder, that witnesses should be coming forward, and that no matter what, somehow, someway, the family needs closure.
"We're all suffering, and I wouldn't want nobody else to suffer the way we are suffering," said Hamilton.
If you have any information regarding Southward's death, you're urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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