A 21-year-old pregnant woman who was found dead in Miami-Dade County was shot, said police on May 23.
Kerica Nelson was found dead on a picnic table on May 22 in a park in the neighborhood where she had lived, Miami-Dade police Detective Lee Cowart told Local10. She was seven months pregnant.
Police responded after calls of a body being found in the park, NBC Miami reported. The park is located near Southwest 282nd Street and 125th Court.
Nelson’s body was reportedly discovered by children on their way to school, the report stated.
Family members of the woman said she leaves behind a son and a daughter, who are 1 and 2 years of age, respectively.
“She was the life of the party, she was a wonderful person, she left two beautiful kids,” godmother Elvara Miller told NBC Miami. “We just seen her a couple hours ago and now she’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone, her children lost their mother.”
“She’s just always been that person that loves family. She loved her family,” Sonya Williams, Nelson’s aunt, added in a WSVN report. “She was a very caring young lady. When it came to her kids, she was very supportive. She was a great mother.”
Officials are continuing to investigate her death.
No suspects have been named in the case.
“If anybody has seen anything or heard anything, please come forth, do not let a person be out here committing crimes like this,” Miller said. “They need to be arrested or punished for what they’ve done. She didn’t deserve that.”
“It’s our day, but tomorrow, it could be yours, and keeping secrets and trying to protect other people for something that is so violent that has happened here today, it’s sad, and we’re just asking for someone to please say something,” Williams told WSVN.
On May 23, neighbors gathered on the street and discussed the woman’s murder and the increase in crime in their neighborhood, the Miami Herald reported.
“It happened a block over in the butterfly garden. The only thing that is strange, is she lives here and she got led all the way over there,” one person said. “People do meet people over there, but that time of the night, it’s strange.”
Another neighbor said her 10-year-old son found Nelson’s body.
“She was a calm cool girl. It’s not even right what happened to her,” the woman said. “This is not a safe community anymore. My baby’s 10-years old. You know what kind of trauma this is going to do to my son?”
“There are a lot of things that concern us as residents,” another local said.
Anyone with information should contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
Facts About Crime in the US
Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.
The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.
“From 1993 to 2017, the rate of violent victimization declined 74 percent, from 79.8 to 20.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older,” the U.S. Department of Justice stated.
Both studies are based on data up to and including 2017, the most recent year for which complete figures are available.
The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.