Family renews plea to find toddler's killer

Posted at 10:56 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-06 13:10:56-05

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- It was a case Fort Pierce Police Chief, Diane Hobley-Burney, called a priority to solve when she took office.

Ma'Keila Burkes was just 2-years-old when she was shot and killed by a drive-by shooter in Fort Pierce last April.

Friday would have been her 3rd birthday.

Her family is now renewing their plea to the community to come forward with information to help police close the case.

Family and friends of Ma' Keila celebrated her birthday at Jetty Park in Fort Pierce Friday night. It was a celebration complete with cake, balloons and party favors. The only thing missing was the birthday girl.

"I miss you so much Ma'Keila. I miss you," cried the girl's grandmother. "When she died, it took everything from me. Everything."

Ma'Keila's Aunt, Tiffany Clark, recalled being in the home on Avenue E the night it was riddled with bullets, one that hit Ma'Keila. "I was actually there when it happened. You can't describe it. It's no words."

The months have been full of anything but celebrating, but mainly grief, anger and desperation to find Ma'Keila's killer.

"I hope police officers are out there still looking. I hope they didn't sweep this case under the rug," Clark said.

Police are still looking for Ma'Keila's killer. Family fears the reason no one has come forward with information is a community-wide fear of retaliation.

"I just want to ask the person, 'why'? Like, she was only two," Clark said.

For Ma'Keila's birthday, family tried to celebrate as if she were still alive. "She'd be dancing, getting cake in her face."

"It would have been everything to her," Clark said.

They're still hopeful for a gift of answers, and a shooter behind bars.

There is still a reward of up to $10,000 for anyone who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest.

You can anonymously call Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-TIPS(8477).