CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - “I just heard gunshots, loud and I heard a car pulling pulling off. That’s all I know.”
The words of a fearful East 93rd and Empire Avenue resident reflect the worry that a cold-blooded murder may turn into a cold case.
As of Tuesday, that is still where the unsolved murder of 15 year-old Naierra Lockhart stands.
Lockhart was a runaway back in 2018 and returned safely home. This time, there was a very different ending. She wound up dead. The hunt for her killer is still going on.
Back in October, her body was found lying in an empty lot at East 93rd Street and Empire Avenue the morning after several neighbors heard shots and called police.
Before this case gets too cold, police want to find the person responsible for shooting her to death.
They’re hoping now that a couple of weeks have passed, someone who saw what happened or has since learned important details will come forward, anonymously if he or she wants, and tell what they know.
The truth of the matter is if the shooter gets away with this murder, taking a life without regard to who he hurts or whose heart he breaks that leaves him out there to prey on someone else.
The people of Cleveland have the power in their hands and quite honestly the responsibility to help catch him and get him off the streets before he kills again.
No one wants to keep hearing stories like this or hear this sentiment voiced by Alan Claybrooks, who used to live in the neighborhood.
He was there at the scene the morning after and he saw the body of the teen covered by a white sheet laying in the lot next to his mother’s house.
He had come to take his mother to her eye appointment. He never expected a body in the community he use to call home.
“This was once a great area, really nice area. It’s just so sad to see such a young person, this girl. This neighborhood just ain’t like it used to be. At one time this was called the gold coast. You had prominent people right in the area, pastors and leaders of the community.”
Cleveland Police are encouraging anyone with any info to contact the homicide unit or Cuyahoga County Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463.