Relatives and friends of a young mother killed by a stray bullet on Labor Day weekend urged witnesses Saturday to come forward and help Baltimore police solve the crime.
"People are little bit afraid," to talk to police, said Geron Mills, 23, as he and others gathered to note the six-month mark since LaRelle Ashlyn Amos died. "But you've got to put yourself in our shoes."
The 22-year-old Amos was shot Sept. 2, one victim of a bloody Baltimore weekend that saw 10 other people injured by gunfire and five more killed. Her family is working with police and the Guardian Angels to try to break through the silence that stymies many murder investigations in the city.
Mills, who was her fiance, said police have told the family that they have some leads in the case, but still need "one small piece" from a witness.
He was talking in Amos' mother's Essex apartment, where family had gathered. Dressed in a red-and-black-striped sweater and jeans, Amos' and Mills' 2-year-old son, Geron, was the center of attention.
Shortly after the killing, Mills said, the boy was too young to understand what had happened. But that's changed now.
"He knows his mother's not there," Mills said. "He knows that."
Caroline Grinage, a relative, looks after the boy during the week. "He asks for her still sometimes," she said. "I say, 'She's in heaven, you can talk to her any time you like.'"
Amos, who was president of the 2008 class at Kenwood High School and a teller at the Sun Trust bank in Essex, was killed in the early hours of the morning, while cleaning up after a family party in the 4800 block of The Alameda.
Alisa Grinage, Amos' mother, described how two cars passed, shots rang out and her daughter was hit. Doctors said Amos was hit in the chest and the bullet ruptured several arteries.
"She was truly an innocent victim," Alisa Grinage said.
Until someone is arrested, Mills, who lives in Northeast Baltimore, said he will keep having the uneasy feeling that the person who killed Amos could be in line next to him at a store, or a customer at his barber shop.
An arrest "would bring just a little closure," Alisa Grinage added. "It's not going to take away all your pain."