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Grieving mom hopes reward yields leads in San Francisco cold case murder

Paulette Brown, mother of murder victim Aubrey Abrakasa, pleads for helping find his killer
Paulette Brown, mother of murder victim Aubrey Abrakasa, pleads for helping find his killer 02:48

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- San Francisco investigators and a grieving mother are asking for leads in a cold case.

"My 17-year-old son, he existed. He lived. He was full of life and someone took him from me," said Paulette Brown, mother of Aubrey Abrakasa, told a crowd of supporters Saturday afternoon.

Someone killed Brown's only son on Aug. 14, 2006.

While the killer remains free, Brown feels trapped by the pain and the lack of accountability.

"I feel like I'm in prison sometime and, like I said, this is not easy. I still cry after 16 years. I still cry. I still hurt. My body remembers the pain. The body keeps the score," Brown said .

It was hard for Brown to return to the intersection of Grove and Baker streets in San Francisco where a gunman fired about 30 rounds which struck Abrakasa multiple times. Still, she makes the visit to the scene every year for 16 years on or around Aug. 14 to pass out flyers asking for leads.

If not their conscience, she hopes maybe the $250,000 reward money will convince a witness to speak up.

Investigators have identified people of interest in the cold case but San Francisco police chief William Scott, who attended the event, said they lack the evidence to make an arrest.

"That $250,000 hopefully provide incentives but we need somebody to come forward. We know people saw it. We know who some of the people are who saw it and we just need cooperation," Chief Scot t said.

Brown said her high school son was walking near his home when he saw a gunman pulling up to a large group of people. She said when her son alerted people to run, the gunman turned his gun on Abrakasa.

"Aubrey was really just a good kid at the wrong place at the wrong time," Chief Scott said.

"My son doesn't even have a headstone because there's not enough money," Brown told the crowd.

Newly appointed district attorney Brooke Jenkins later told Brown her office will help get the money to pay for a headstone.

"Your baby has to have a headstone so this will be the last year that you go without one," Jenkins said. Brown hugged the D.A. after hearing her statement.

Brown said hope is what keeps her fighting for her son and justice.

"An arrest would mean for me some closure and I can sleep better at night, although it's not going to heal the pain 'cause my son is still gone," Brown said  .

There weren't as many home surveillance cameras back in 2006. Detectives said the Abrakasa case relies heavily on witnesses to cooperate.

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