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Family of slain teen lays down headstone, pleads for leads

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Updated: 12/24/2013 6:35 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The family of a local teen gunned down in Northwest Jacksonville over the summer laid down a headstone in a westside cemetery and pleaded for new leads in the case. 

It's been more than four months since Megan Simmons, 14, and Jazmine Shelton, 13, were killed when someone fired into a mobile home the teens were in on Missouri Avenue. No arrests have been made in the case.

Simmons' family gathered on Christmas Eve to watch workers lay down a headstone in her name with the phrase "beloved daughter and grand baby."

"There will never be closure, never really, because she's not going to come back. There will never be justice because she's not going to come back," said grandmother Karen Pippin.

Simmons’ case is part of a string of murders to hit Jacksonville in a span of just five months. In mid July, 22-year-old Amber Bass was shot to death in her driveway.  Last month, sisters Keyshell and Keyonna Brown were killed in a quadruple murder. Both cases remain unsolved.

"We still need closure for a lot of children. Her son Michael, Amber, Jazmine, Megan. It's just a lot, it needs to stop here in Jacksonville," said Pippin. 

Friends and family put up holiday decorations around Simmons' headstone. It’ll be their first Christmas without her; memories of her are the only thing that keeps them going.

"It’s not going to bring her back, but she lives in our heart always," said Pippin. 

Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $4,000 for a tip that leads to an arrest. If you have any information call 1-866-845-TIPS.

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