Family seeks answers in teen's murder and holds vigil

Published: Jun. 19, 2012 at 11:49 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2012 at 12:27 AM EDT
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Africa Hope
Africa Hope

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The family of Africa Hope is grieving the murder of the 15-year-old girl killed Monday evening on Vine Street in OTR.

Police say Hope was shot sometime after 11 p.m. outside of 1710 Vine Street. She was transported to University Hospital where she later died.

"[I'm] hurt, betrayed, I'm just speechless," sister Lakisha Hope said. "I can't believe I had just lost my 15 year old sister. I just had talked to her."

Like many teenagers, family members say Africa Hope did not always listen and obey the rules.

"Her grandmamma did everything she could for her grandkids, but just Africa just wanted to be Africa," stepfather Kevin Metz said.

Family members say the young teen often snuck out and went her own way.

"Sometimes she'd come back three or four in the morning, sometimes she wouldn't come back at all," the teen's grandmother and guardian Corline Stone told FOX19.

Africa's 74-year-old grandmother says she tried to reach out to a local agency for at-risk teens for help.

"They said there was nothing they could do because she wasn't violent, she didn't have no gun or nothing," Stone said.

"My mother tried everything in the world to get her treatment, mental treatment physical treatment, programs," Metz said.  "They never did. They sent her back."

Regardless of whether Africa Hope was out past the city curfew Monday, family members say there is no excuse for the tragic outcome that occurred on Vine Street.

"She was hard-headed but she don't deserve to get killed like that," Lakisha Hope said.

"I'll never get over this," Metz said. "I don't want to get over it. I'm angry, I'm hurt."

"I just hope that we find out who the person was who did what they did to her," the teen's mother Vanessa Hope said.

Vanessa Hope says she has found peace in her daughter's death.

"I truly believe that the Lord Jesus Christ called my daughter home," she said.

"There's no justification why any old person or any young person should be shot," Chief James Craig stated emphatically. "So if she was mischievous or she did this or that, does it warrant her losing her life?"

Sitting at the family's kitchen table Tuesday, Chief Craig listened to the cries for justice and promised the Cincinnati Police Department is doing everything they can to deliver it.

"I'm optimistic that we're going to find the person responsible for this. We know that they're out there and they're listening to this: we're going to get you and we're going to take you to jail," Craig said.

A vigil was held on Wednesday night for Hope.

If you have any information about this incident, please contact the Criminal Investigations Section at (513) 352-3542 or Crimestoppers at (513) 350-3040.

All callers will remain anonymous and receive compensation for information.

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