JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office data, there have been 58 murders across Jacksonville in 2018, 46 of which remain unsolved.
Families who have loved ones who were killed because of that violence say they are fed up with the lack of answers, so they've tried turning to City Council for help.
Yaisa Richardson lost her 19-year-old daughter Ariyan Johnson, her daughter's fiance Quasean Trotter and their 11-month-old baby Arielle when they were found murdered in their home on December 12, 2014. Their murder remains unsolved.
She heard about a public forum happening at City Hall last week, during which the community could voice their concerns about the violence. That's where she heard Doreszell Cohen speak out about her own heartbreak.
Cohen's sister, Lawanna McDaniel, was murdered on December 5, 2014. Her body was found in a ditch along Wells Road. The case remains unsolved.
"I felt as if they would be able to make a big statement and bring in other people on this case, not just my cases but all unsolved cases," said Richardson. "I went there because I needed to understand why there are so many murders still unsolved."
Cohen says she went there to hold elected officials accountable. She believes they have the ability to draft legislation that can curb the violence and help young people.
"I wanted to say something so that she's not forgotten, and I want to hold our city accountable," said Cohen.
She says an investigator recently called her family to say her sister's case is going cold.
She plans on running for Jacksonville mayor this year and she says violence is the biggest issue she plans to tackle.
City Councilman Matt Schellenberg says the time restraint on public comment at city council meetings doesn’t allow for a dialogue because each person only gets a few minutes at the podium.
He recommends people contact their local council member directly to see action.
"They feel like their only option is to come to this forum and talk in three minutes and I can see how
that is frustrating to this person," said Schellenberg.
Cohen believes JSO and the city are the difference-makers. She wants to see investigators held accountable for the cases they take on and she wants to see city council take a greater interest in the parts of Jacksonville that see the most violence.
Richardson believes the root of the problem is with the community not coming forward with information.
"I can't believe there is just someone out there who isn't coming forward," said Richardson. "You’ll help my family heal."
To find the phone number or email for the city council member in your district you can look up their name and contact information here. To find out which district you are located in you can find a map here.
JSO keeps an online database of the murders in Jacksonville. You can find information from 2017 and 2018 here.
In response to our questions about their efforts to stop the violence in Jacksonville, the mayor's office sent First Coast News this statement:
As demonstrated in the mayor’s proposed FY2019 budget, and previous budgets, public safety remains one of this administration’s top priorities with continued investments toward enhancing enforcement, strengthening prevention and intervention efforts, and improving neighborhoods throughout the city. The mayor will continue to support Sheriff Williams and rely on his team’s expertise to protect the people of Jacksonville.
If you have any information that can help police solve these murders you can always remain anonymous and call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.