It still seems unreal to Sanmarian McClain. Two months ago, her oldest daughter was shot and killed as she slept in the family’s South Atlanta home.
“It’s heartbreaking for everybody,” McClain told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday. “It was the worst Thanksgiving, the worst Christmas. It will never be the same.”
As 18-year-old Jessica Daniels slept in her room in the early-morning hours of Oct. 3, bullets hit the family’s home. Jessica was struck and yelled to her family for help, but she died from her injuries.
Though the Atlanta Police Department said Monday that the reward for information has climbed to $10,000, there have been no arrests in the case. Investigators previously said they believe Jessica was hit by a stray bullet. The family found dozens of shell casings outside and believes at least two shooters were involved.
“There still hasn’t been justice,” McClain said.
Jessica, the oldest of four girls, hoped to attend college next year and become a dermatologist, maybe one day running her own business, her family said the day after she died.
Lynette Love, Jessica’s grandmother, could barely speak above a whisper, her voice hoarse from crying.
“It’s a sad situation,” she said in the family’s living room. “You can’t sleep in your own house.”
On Nov. 15, McClain and her family honored Jessica on what would have been her 19th birthday. There was a dove release, balloons and candlelight to honor the South Atlanta High School graduate.
“Everything she would’ve loved,” McClain said.
Now, McClain clings to the hope that detectives will find the person responsible for Jessica’s death.
“I refuse to let this be a cold case,” she said. “Her killer can be found. I don’t want her to ever be forgotten.”
Anyone with information on the deadly shooting is asked to contact Atlanta police or Crime Stoppers.
HOW TO HELP
Jessica Daniels, 18, was fatally shot while sleeping in her bed on Oct. 3. Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers Atlanta by calling 404-577-8477, texting 274637, or logging onto atlantapolicefoundation.org/programs/crime-stoppers. The reward for providing information that leads to an arrest and indictment is $10,000.
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