Family holds toy drive in honor of teen killed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One family is touching hearts with a toy drive in hopes of finding someone to tell them the truth about who killed the 16-year-old girl.

Four years ago, Tiphne Hollis was shot and killed while riding in a car with her cousins. Since then, her mother, Shanda Whitaker-Ward, has established the Tiphne Hollis Foundation, which promotes giving, volunteerism and crime awareness in the community.

On Monday afternoon, Whitaker-Ward distributed gifts to local families in need in the spirit of the murdered teen.

"We passed out toys and we gave out these bumper stickers and just telling the community that Tiphne's case is still unsolved," she said.

Four years ago the 16-year-old was shot and killed while riding in a car with family members.

"(There are) no leads (but) I have faith. I believe," Whitaker-Ward said.

The Tiphne for Tots event has turned the tragedy into purpose, and something Whitaker-Ward prays will help bring her daughter the justice she deserved so many Christmas' ago.

"Just trying to keep the awareness out, and the greatness about my daughter, and that's giving back to the community," she said.

The most difficult part about the holiday season for Tiphne Hollis' mother is that it's her birthday month and Tiphne would have turned 20 on Dec. 28.

About the Author: