CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland mother is still putting the pieces together after her 19-year-old son was shot and killed on the city's west side in late July.
"Some days are good, some days I have bad days," said Nicole Scott, who's bracing for the first holiday season without her son, Antonio Montgomery Jr.
"He was nice, he was lovable. He helped everyone he can," Scott said.
Now, the bereaved mother is looking for help.
She's no closer to knowing what happened to her son today than she was four months ago when he was murdered.
Scott and her family aren't alone.
According to the Cleveland Division of Police, just 52 percent of the city's 137 homicides were solved in 2016.
"The solve rate is terrible," said Cleveland Police Union President Steve Loomis.
Loomis said it comes down to simple math.
"It's a lack of numbers our detectives have. Our homicide unit has gone down by 28 percent over the last 10 years," Loomis said.
In 2008, there were 102 homicides, and 76 percent of those were solved.
At that time the city had 19 detectives working in homicide.
Today, Cleveland police say there are 16 detectives.
The answer is to hire more detectives, and that the money is already there, said Loomis.
"168 police officers below our budgeted staffing level. 168. Imagine what we could do with 168 police officers," Loomis said.
Former Cleveland Police Chief Bill Dennihan says more detectives isn't always the answer.
"The police alone is not the answer. It has to have the community's help," Dennihan said.
As for Nicole Scott, she wants whatever it will take to get answers.
"I want justice for me and my family, so we can have peace," she said.
In 2018, Cleveland officials have pledged to hire 250 new officers with hiring events already underway.