Call for Justice a Year After Women Found Murdered

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CLEVELAND-- One year after a mother of eight was found dead in a field, her family gathered to remember her, demand answers and call for an end to violence against women.

She is one of several women killed in the same Cleveland neighborhood within months of each other.

Cleveland police said all of the murders remain unsolved, and right now, they are investigating them as separate crimes.

"We just want to know, who killed our mother?" asked Shana Johnson, the oldest child of Christine Malone.

Relatives of the 45-year-old want answers. They joined politicians and community activists in a field near East 93rd Street and Bessemer Avenue Thursday evening; that's the same spot where their mother's body was found one year ago.

"A little kid found her body on her way home from school and nobody knows nothing and they dumped her in broad daylight. It's not making no sense," Johnson said.

"This was almost like one of your aunties, uncles, niece, father, step-mother, somebody's mama, my mama!" said Malone’s son, Merlin Malone, Jr.

"These two came up. That's when I got a call that we always forget about her, and that's when it started hitting me that we have a problem," said Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed while pointing at a board with pictures of murdered women.

Between December of 2012 and May of 2013, four women were found dead on various side streets near East 93rd. In addition to Christine, 37-year-old Jameela Hasan was found stabbed multiple times in her apartment; 20-year-old Jazmine Trotter was found dead under a vacant home, and 21-year old Ashley Leszyeski's body was found in a field.

They also remembered Aliza Sherman, the Beachwood mother stabbed to death downtown around the same time last year.

"There is a crisis in this community and they are not doing enough to take care of women," said community activist, Kathy Wray Coleman.

"My mother walked out of the house and said she'd be back. She never came back," said Malone’s daughter, Angelique Malone.

Malone’s family feels the city should do more such as putting more police on the streets and demolishing abandoned homes, which can be a magnet for crime.

"These women on this poster board deserve justice. Anyone who's been left out here dead in the cold, they don't deserve this,” said Angelique Malone.

"There is a procedure right now in place where most of the wards are being looked at and the vacant and abandoned houses are identified, so that those houses will either be rehabbed or torn down," said Cleveland City Councilwoman Mamie Mitchell.

"We got to keep her memory alive and I'm gonna keep doing it every day until I find out who killed my mother," said Johnson.

Anyone with information about any of the murders is asked to contact Cleveland police.


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