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'I don't have answers' | After more than a year, a teen homicide victim's family has no closure

Kassius Glay is among a growing number of unsolved homicides in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — On one of DC Police’s growing number of unsolved homicide flyers, Juanita Culbreth sees the face of her son, Kassius-Kohn Jeremiah Glay, and is filled with pain and confusion.

“It’s hurtful, it's heartbreaking," Juanita Culbreth said fighting back the tears. "My son is on a poster because he’s a homicide victim. This was never in our plan.” 

“I can’t even cry,” admitted Kassius’s big sister, Juanna Culbreth, saying she has become numb to it all. “Our family is close.”

Kassius was supposed to be preparing to walk across the stage, a proud high school graduate, but just weeks before the 16-year-old honors student got the chance, he was shot to death in broad daylight on May 28, 2021. 

His mom said he was sitting in a car in the Park View neighborhood in Northwest D.C. at 11:30 a.m. when he was murdered. Five other people in the car with him were not injured, including family friends and his 14-year-old brother.

“I can hear my son, clear as day screaming, 'I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry ma, he’s dead,'" Culbreth said of being told by her son that his brother had died. 

More than a year later, Kassius remains on DC Police’s growing list of unsolved homicide cases.

In 2022 the murder rate in D.C. has continued to rise, now approaching a 15-year high. In fact, in 2021 homicides in the District were up a staggering 95% from where the District stood just four years before, with the nation's capital on pace for even more murders this year.

“No arrests have been made as of today, 418 days later,” Kassius’ mom said. “And that’s my fear, that his case will be unsolved.”

Juanita Culbreth is frustrated with the investigation into her son’s murder, but she’s also angry with anyone in the public who might know who did it who has not come forward.

“If we were a community, there is no way you would let whoever shoot someone’s baby down in the street and don’t open up your mouth,” Culbreth said. “That’s not loving your neighbor.”

So far not even a $25,000 reward from the city has been enough to help DC Police bring justice, and closure, to Kassius' family.

“I just still can’t put it together,” Juanita Culbreth said, sitting in her home with photos of Kassius over her shoulder. “How am I supposed to let go? Of someone that I carried, I nurtured, I molded. I raised him. He was just taken away and still to this day, I don’t have no answers.”

If you have any information on the murder of Kassius Glay, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling 202-727-9099 or by texting 50411.

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