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Family demands answers from 2021 murder of 13-year-old shot outside Baltimore rec. center

Family demands answers from 2021 murder of 13-year-old shot outside Baltimore rec. center
Family demands answers from 2021 murder of 13-year-old shot outside Baltimore rec. center 02:19

BALTIMORE -- A little more than two years ago, 13-year-old Maliyah Turner was murdered outside of Baltimore's Lillian Jones Recreation Center in Northwest Baltimore.

Turner was fatally shot on November 18, 2021, near the rec center on N. Stricker Street. She was there for band practice.

Still, there has not been an arrest made in the case.

On Tuesday, standing in the area where Turner was shot, her family demanded justice and answers.

"The family of Mailyah Turner has pleaded, has begged, has urged the people who are supposed to help bring a measure of justice to their family, to do something," family spokesperson Thiru Vignarajah said. "Here we are two years later, with no justice, no arrests, no answers."


The family says they haven't received an update or spoken with city leaders since Turner was killed.

Vignarajah said that over the past three years, 55 minors were killed in Baltimore City.

And like those other families, Vignarajah said Turner was not just a statistic.

"It's easy, as a result, for a single 13-year-old to get lost in the mist," Vignarajah said. "Just as it is for the other families, for this family, Maliyah Turner was not a statistic. It wasn't just another one of the children slaughtered on the streets of Baltimore. it was their precious daughter."

Turner's family, led by her mother Michelle Smith, expressed frustration and outrage at the city's communication and efforts to find justice.

"I haven't heard from anyone in two years," Smith said. "I just want some justice for my daughter. It's hard, with the holidays, everybody is celebrating, and I am lost because all I want is peace."

In September, The Department of Juvenile Services released a research brief on youth crime in Maryland.

The Department found that the number of non-fatal juvenile shooting victims was up 417 percent from 2013 to 2022 and juvenile homicide victims were up 62 percent during that same time frame. 

According to the DJS report, youth of color are much more likely to be the victims of homicides and non-fatal shootings in Maryland compared to white youth. 

As violence among juveniles continues to rise, Smith doesn't want her daughter to be forgotten.

"What I hope is that we get justice for the family," Smith said. "My daughter was a good kid. That is what I am hoping to get out of this -- peace, justice and some closure for our family."

Metro Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of at least $13,000 for any information leading to an arrest and charges. 

"This isn't a burglary. This isn't a street robbery, it's not even a carjacking," Vignarajah said. "It is a murder of a child. That case should never become a cold one."

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