82ºF

Family: Burying young mother harder because killer not caught

Nikki Redden found dead May 1 on street in Baldwin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A family paid final respects Wednesday to a young woman who was found dead  May 1 in the street of a Baldwin industrial park. The fact that the person who killed 25-year-old Nikki Redden hasn't been caught just makes it harder for the family.

"That is the worst part," said the victim's father, Jerry Redden. "This is bad, but not knowing is bad."

He is one of hundreds at a funeral service for Redden held at a Southside church where friends and family came to pay respects to Redden, the mother of two young children.

Those attending shared good memories of her and said she never met a stranger and would talk to anybody. And if you knew her, you knew she would help you with anything.

But to Jerry Redden, she was his baby girl; the youngest of his seven kids.

Asked what was the hardest thing about losing his daughter, he said: "Just waking up and knowing she's gone."

Family and friends said is hard to shake the memory of her being found dead in the street, and her loss is made harder because no one has been charged with her murder.

"I just want the killer to be caught," her sister, Kim Redden, said. "We just want justice for Nikki. She didn't deserve this at all. This was a very, very deep tragedy in our family."

Jerry Redden said he just want her killer brought to justice.

"I don't want him hurt or anything like that. I want him to wake up every morning the rest of his life, look in the mirror and know what he done to her," he said. "That's really; that's it."

As they left the church to lay Redden’s body in a grave next to her mother's, a group of mourners who loved her made this vow as the left the service: "We'll never forget her. She is always with us always in our hearts. She will never be forgotten, that's for sure."

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office would only say the investigating into Nikki Redden's death is ongoing and they could not release any other information.