Slain teen's family overcome by loss

Killers of 2 teens still sought by police

Author: Vic Micolucci, General assignment reporter, vic@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:44:35 AM EST   Updated On: Aug 20 2013 11:40:00 PM EDT
Megan Simmons
JACKSONVILLE, Fla -

Ten days after two teens were shot and killed in Biltmore, their killers are still on the loose.

Police say 13-year-old Jazmine Shelton and 14-year-old Megan Simmons died after someone peppered the home they were staying in with dozens of bullets. The sheriff said the girls were innocent victims in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Shelton was buried last week and now Simmons' family is preparing to lay her to rest.

Simmons' relatives spoke Tuesday, saying they feel like they've lost just about everything. They're devastated, and each day they pray that police will catch who killed the girls.

"It's just hard to go home to her room," said Karen Pippin, Simmons' grandmother. "I don't even want to go in there. Everything's just like she left it."

"And I just sit there thinking she's going to walk through those doors, and knowing she's not, it's just hard," said Kylie Simmons, Megan's mother.

Megan's mom, grandmother and aunt try to remember the good times, but can't get over what happened to her.

"Megan's like a part of me, she was like my home," Pippin said. "My heart is just ripped out."

"Things will never be the same again," Kylie said.

The 14-year-old was a jokester and an entertainer with a passion for singing.

"We were actually going to enter her, because you have to be 15 for American Idol, and that was what she was going to do," Kylie said.

"She was just the most loving child that I've ever seen," said Neta Sessions, Megan's aunt.

But a week and a half ago that smile was taken away from her family forever. Megan was spending the night with Shelton when they were killed.

"There's somebody out there and they're not talking," Kylie said.

The home where they were killed was Shelton's mother's, but the teen lived with her grandparents. Megan's family says they didn't know before, but had they known about the history of police callouts there, they would have never let her go.

"I don't understand, we just don't go asking people, 'Do you have custody of your children?' when you let them spend the night. We had no idea," Pippin said.

Now the women are trying to remain strong for each other's sake, all the while begging for answers and praying for justice.

"I promised her that we will find out. I will not give up," Kylie said. "I will find out who did this to these two kids. Somehow. And that's the promise I made her. I will not give up."

There is now a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads police to the killers.

Megan's viewing will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Hardage-Giddens Town and Country Funeral Home on Normandy Boulevard night. Her funeral is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Paxon Revival Center Church.