Emma Pardo, News Editor
SAINT LOUIS- Hearts are breaking all over the state of Missouri as 19 families in St. Louis mourn the loss of their children, ranging in age from 11 months to 17 years old. With this amount of sudden child deaths, the city has offered cash rewards for those who can solve the open cases.
Starting on June 2nd, Joseline Eichelberger, 11 months old, was left in a hot car. June 8th, Jashon Johnson, 16 years old, shot. June 9th, Kennedi Powell, 3 years old, shot. June 10th, Charnija Keys, 11 years old, shot. June 12th, Myiesha Cannon, 16, suspicious sudden death. June 24th, Michael Henderson Jr., 15 years old, shot. June 26th, Derrel Williams, 15 years old, shot. July 8th, Omarion D. Coleman, 15 years old, shot. July 10th, R.J. Dorsey, 16 years old, shot. July 15th, Davaun Winters, 17 years old, shot. July 19th, Eddie Hill IV, 10 years old, shot. July 20th, Ien Coleman, 14 years old, shot. August 12th, Xavier Usanga, 7 years old, shot. August 18th Jason Eberhart, 16 years old, shot. August 23rd, Jurnee Thompson, 8 years old, shot. August 24th, Nyla Banks, 10 years old, cause not disclosed. August 25th, Sentonio Cox, 15 years old, shot.
While this is not the completed list of child murders in St. Louis for the year of 2019, the list above accounts for the murders executed since June of 2019. The main cause of the wave of death for these children was gun violence in predominantly black neighborhoods affecting black teenagers and young adolescents.
Local residents claimed that the police have been lacking in efforts to solve these cases. Where in a city divided by authority and residents lies a lack of trust between the two.
After speaking to an anonymous source who resides in St. Louis with close ties to the investigations, the conversation ended with the statement, “The reality is, when it comes to deterring crime, stopping crime or even stopping gun violence… until someone has the balls to stand up and say ‘I saw it..’ the police and prosecutors have their hands tied.”
For most of these cases, there have been convicted suspects after these series of events. Unfortunately four of these cases have remained open due to lack of evidence for conviction.
With these murder stories breaking in the news and growing in popularity after the death of Jurnee Thompson, Mayor Lyda Krewson announced that there will be $25,000 reward for information of any of the four unsolved child murders for a total of $100,000 reward. This reward offer ended Sept. 1.
“Every year, nearly 40,000 human beings lose their lives to gun violence. That number is so incomprehensibly large—so tragic—we lose sight of the individual lives lost,” stated Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in a tweet made last Monday.
Since the growing number of deaths, Krewson has requested more assistance from the state, which resulted in more overtime for police and more detectives assigned to the remaining unsolved cases.