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Three Months After Their Daughter's Death, Maliyah Turner's Parents Are Still Seeking Justice

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A new report from the mayor's office released Friday takes a closer look at any child who has died under the age of 18, investigating each case to find out why these children passed away and how their deaths can be prevented in the future,

The report found homicides are the leading cause of death of children in this city.

Three months ago, Maliyah Turner was shot and killed outside a recreation center. But every day since has been a bitter reality for her mother and father, who ask when will their daughter receive justice.

"It's still like a nightmare to me, to have somebody just snatched from you like that," said Michelle Smith, Turner's mother.

This is the aftermath, a mother in mourning after the loss of her daughter.

"Not only was she my baby, she was my sunshine even when it was raining," said Smith. "Nothing seems the same since she's been gone."

On. Nov. 18, Turner, 13, was killed outside the Lillian Jones Recreation Center in Sandtown. She was there for band practice

"You couldn't tell me that was gonna be the last day that I would ever, ever see my daughter," said Smith. "Nobody in the world could have ever ever told me that that day.

A new report on child fatality from the mayor's office reveals how many of our children are dying in the city and why.

In the past five years, 208 children died in Baltimore City, and 90% of the children who died were children of color.

"Homicide was the leading cause of death of child fatality, claiming 69 children over these five years," said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa.

Twenty-four children were killed by a parent or caregiver and 45 children were killed by a non-relative third party, according to the report.

"We found that 91% of these deaths were preventable," said Stefanie Mavronis, chief of staff for Baltimore Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement.

Dzirasa said, "We must especially focus on recommendations to prevent children from becoming victims of violence."

The report also lays out recommendations for preventing future deaths, including more partnerships with schools and violence intervention programs.

But for parents like Maliyah's, their fight is just started for their daughter and for all the children

"Little kids, little innocent kids? Come on now," said Smith. "I want some justice for all the children."

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