Breaking News
More () »

UNSOLVED: The 2017 triple murder of a young couple and their baby girl

"A baby is involved, what is going to be done now? How can we find some justice for her?"

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — December used to be a time of Christmas celebrations and family memories. But now the cold, winter air brings with it memories of a terrible night.

"I remember people crying and not understanding, is this for real?," said Natasha Richardson, the mother of QuaSean Trotter.

It was December 12, 2017.

Around 10:30 p.m., Jacksonville Fire Rescue was called out to a house fire on India Avenue in Arlington. Inside the home, a Christmas tree was burning, then the discovery of the bodies of QuaSean Trotter, his fiancé Ariyan Johnson and their daughter, Arielle Trotter.

"I just want people to understand and keep in mind it was a baby involved in this," Yaisa Richardson, Ariyan's mother, said. "It was an 11-month-old child involved in this."

The family said the three lived in an apartment in Jacksonville, but that night they were staying at a friend’s house on India Avenue. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has released very few details about this case, only saying in 2017 that they were working the case as a triple homicide and there was no forced entry to the home. JSO did not comment for this story other than to say it is considered an active investigation.

According to the family, QuaSean and Ariyan had been shot and killed. Then the Christmas tree was set on fire, presumably to cover evidence in the murders.

The family said smoke inhalation took baby Arielle’s life.

"They say 'Oh well, they didn’t physically hurt her [Arielle] with a gun', but they still caused harm to her because they knew she was there," Natasha Richardson said.

 It is a level of cruelty Natasha and Yaisa struggle to understand.

"How could you do something like that to an 11-month-old baby? Who had no idea, who does not know what was going on, who could not have said anything about you, why would you do that?" Yaisa said.

Arielle was the light of her parents' lives. Born in January of 2017, QuaSean and Ariyan both were excited to become parents to their little girl. Natasha says QuaSean was devoted to his family and smart, Yasia says Ariyan was just about to open her own clothing store and both were devoted to their daughter.

At 11-months-old little Arielle’s personality and affection for her family had already started to show.

"If she loved you, she loved you," Natasha recalled with a smile.

They believe the public knows more than what was told to investigators and hope that now may finally be the time that someone comes forward.

"It is not going to bring them back, but at least the ones who did it will be held accountable and not be able to hurt anybody else," Yaisa explained.

While no official motive has been released by investigators, the family believes it may have been a robbery that went bad.

"If you saw a person and you think they might have something to do with it, but they gave you an excuse that didn’t make sense, say something," Natasha said. "The little things could mean so much to us, could mean so much to this case."

Both mothers continue to grieve the loss of their children, but what haunts them the most, is the murder of Arielle. How could someone kill a baby and get away with it?

"A baby is involved, what is going to be done now? How can we find some justice for her?" asked Natasha.

If you know anything about this triple murder, please contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or you email them at JSOCrimeTIps@JaxSheriff.org. You can also remain anonymous and contact CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS(8477)

For a look at the Project: Cold Case database go to: www.projectcoldcase.org.


Before You Leave, Check This Out