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Family calls for justice 1-year after Independence teen killed in shooting

Mariah Franklin's family
Posted at 9:42 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 23:20:40-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo.  — June 23, 2021 is the day the Franklin family discovered their greatest heartache.

It was on that day that beloved daughter, sister and friend, Mariah Franklin, was shot and killed in her bedroom in a violent murder.

That afternoon, Mariah's mom Angelina, was set to take her daughter shopping for a new cell phone.

After running back into the house to get some extra money, Mariah never came out.

An hour or so later, her dad, Isaac Franklin, broke down Mariah's bedroom door to get inside.

"To have to discover your child in the room, no longer breathing, no longer here — [there's] nothing to be done," he said.

His wife Angelina agreed.

"Nothing in the world compares to losing your child, it's like you lost the past, the present and the future," she said. "You don't have none of that anymore. All you have is memories to look back on."

A year later, there have been no arrests or charges in the case.

The Independence Police Department told KSHB 41 News that detectives are still investigating.

"They've been following up on the leads we've had and following up on physical evidence at the scene," Ofc. Jack Taylor, the public information officer for the department, said." We've been looking at everything from every angle on this case. We just don't have that piece of evidence that we're looking for at this point."

The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office explained the case is still open and the FBI is working on getting any information or evidence it can from Mariah's cell phone.

There's just no firm timeline on how long it may take to access it.

Nautica Wiggins, Mariah's sister, described how difficult this last year has been.

"It really feels like a hole in my heart every single day," Wiggins said. 'Like somebody really took a piece out and it's just gone when Mariah left."

Police, prosecutors and this family are all begging for anyone who knows anything about the murder of Mariah Franklin to come forward.

To submit an anonymous tip, people can call the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline at (816)-474-8477.

To submit tips online, people can visit the hot line's website.

Tipsters will remain anonymous and can earn a cash reward of up to $25,000 for an arrest in the case.

The Franklin family says no matter how much time has passed, someone coming forward would mean the world to them

"We've been waiting a whole year for justice and Mariah didn't deserve to die," she said. "She loved her life."