HARVEY, Ill. (CBS) — The parents of Kentayvia Blackful were still grieving Monday night, nearly a year after their daughter was shot in the head by a stray bullet in Harvey and died on her 12th birthday.
CBS2 Investigator Megan Hickey has been pushing for answers in her case. On Monday evening, the girl’s parents told Hickey that justice has been delayed.READ MORE: FBI Seeking Public's Help Finding Devontay Anderson; Feds Say Third Suspect Charged In Killing Of Jaslyn Adams Fled State To Avoid Prosecution
The Blackfuls said it is not a secret who many community members believe to be responsible for Kentayvia’s death, and they want to know why two persons of interest haven’t been charged.
Kentayvia was sitting at her computer planning her birthday party when a stray bullet pierced her Harvey home> around 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23 of last year, striking the sixth grader in the head.
She didn’t make it to her party the next day, despite prayers from her community. Instead, Kentayvia died on her own birthday.
“Kentayvia was a child, was an innocent child,” said Kentayvia’s mother, Kentnilla Blackful. “I don’t care who they was trying to shoot. I don’t care what was going on. They shot at my house and killed my daughter – my 12-year-old innocent girl that didn’t have anything to do with anything.”
Witnesses standing outside reported seeing two people shooting from down the street, and two persons of interest were identified by police.
But 11 months later, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office told us that charges have never been filed.
“It’s been too long,” said Kentnilla Blackful. “Of course, I thought I’d have justice by now.”
CBS 2 tried unsuccessfully to speak with Harvey police to get an update on Kentayvia’s case. Hickey even went to the Harvey police station, but no one offered a comment.READ MORE: Family Of 12-Year-Old Erica Gibson Says Girl Who Accidentally Shot Her Dead In Hazel Crest Had Earlier Posed With Long Gun In Social Media Video
Back in September, Harvey Mayor Christopher Clark called on anyone with information to come forward.
“Look at this issue the same way we would look at a wound,” Clark said at the time. “The City of Harvey is bleeding right now.”
CBS 2 was told Monday that Mayor Clark was not available for comment. His office provided us with a statement saying that multiple leads helped identify two persons of interest, “but at this time, not enough evidence exists to pursue charges.”
Now, the family is asking for an outside agency to review the case.
“Yes, they should have been arrested by now,” Clark said. “They should have been charged with her murder by now.”
The family also alleged that Clark has a personal connection to one of the persons of interest. On Monday, a spokesperson denied any kind of connection.
Harvey officials said the investigation continues and their asking anyone with information to come forward.
Kentayvia’s death was one of at least 19 homicides in Harvey last year – the highest total in years.
As to how often such cases are solved, that is hard to know, because Harvey had been sending their crime stats to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting system for years – but apparently stopped reporting in 2016. So the latest numbers that we have in that system are several years old.MORE NEWS: 'I Was Completely Unaware': Brookfield Homeowner On Apartment Complex Looming Large Over Her House, Obstructing Views