INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Family and friends held a balloon release Friday night to celebrate the life of a Ben Davis High School senior.
Renia Woods was found dead behind the dumpster on the city’s east side earlier this year.
Jackie Taylor told 24-Hour News 8 it has been a painful eight months for her family.
“It’s been hard, it’s been really hard for everybody,” Taylor said.
She said her daughter would have celebrated her 19th birthday Friday.
“Just wishing I was somewhere with her right now for her birthday and it was just totally different than today,” she said.
Taylor’s oldest daughter, Woods was getting ready to graduate from school, go to college and start her future when she was killed in March.
“I just don’t know what to say,” Taylor cried. “I just don’t know what to say.”
Woods was babysitting her siblings when she disappeared from home. Police said a trash man found her body behind the dumpster. The coroner’s office ruled her death a homicide.
Taylor said her daughter was strangled. She said detectives told her three weeks ago they were looking at DNA evidence and were waiting for results to come back.
“They did make me aware that some are foreign to her, which means it didn’t belong to her,” Taylor said.
Other family members like Shante Taylor just want the person responsible to come forward.
“I wish that, you know, whoever the coward was that people will have a conscious,” said Taylor. “Because how do you sleep at night with yourself? How do you sleep at night?”
While police have not released any information about a possible suspect or motive, Taylor remains hopeful that police will make an arrest in her cousin’s case.
“I know a lot of people say closure, but you never get closure for a situation like this,” Taylor said. “All you get is the ability to deal with something like this.”