MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - While Middletown police continue to investigate the 2017 murder of Teresa Shields, her family is dealing with another heartbreaking blow.
Losing a loved one is never easy, but Teresa Shields' family says that knowing her killer hasn't been held responsible makes the pain much worse. Now, their heartache is being amplified yet again because a makeshift memorial is missing.
Teresa Shields was killed on New Year's Day 2017. Police said she and her boyfriend were in a car leaving a party when she was murdered.
"Truck pulled up by the side of them, guy hung out the window with a high-powered rifle and just started shooting. They were shooting at her boyfriend, but he didn't die. She did," said the victim's mother Tina Shields.
Since her death, the family has repeatedly returned to the site where she was killed -- the intersection of Roosevelt and Wicoff -- to put up decorations. Every holiday, including her birthday, they have added something sentimental.
"Her friends and everybody would put flowers and teddy bears. There was countless, numerous stuff, it was everywhere," her mother said.
Tina Shields says that now it seems someone wants to take that away from them. They noticed this week that the original memorial, including photos, stuffed animals, and other mementos has been removed and is missing.
"You already took her. At least let me keep her stuff, her pictures," Tina Shields said. "Gonna take everything. It's all we have left."
At this point, it's not clear where it is. City officials and police confirmed that they did not remove it, but they would like to know who did.
"I'm not gonna stop. I'm not gonna stop. I will get pictures and post them on every pole in Middletown if I have to," said Tina Shields. "I'm not gonna stop. To my last breath, I'll make sure she gets justice."
As Teresa Shields' family re-decorated the pole Tuesday, they added a message that says, "Hi, I'm back. Do not remove."
If you have any information on Teresa Shields' murder, or on who may have removed the memorial, call Middletown police.