Mother won't let 16-year-old daughter, unsolved murder be forgotten

Tiphne Hollis would have turned 23 on Wednesday; killer has not been caught

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The mother of a 16-year-old girl gunned down on the Westside more than six years ago said her pain is still real, almost like the day her daughter was taken from her.

Tiphne Hollis would have turned 23 years old Wednesday.

She was shot in the area of Stockton Street, and her killer has not been caught.

“Some days, it still feels like the day (she was killed),” Hollis’ mother, Shanda Whitaker-Ward, said.

She was joined by supporters Wednesday in a balloon release to honor her daughter's birthday.

“It’s a hard battle,” Whitaker-Ward said. “You don’t heal overnight. You know, it’ll be seven years (on March 20), and I’m healing each and every day.”

The gathering was small Wednesday, but the message was still meaningful: Tiphne Hollis will not be forgotten.
Her mother is making sure of that by channeling her tragedy into something positive and giving back through the foundation she set up to honor her daughter.

“It’s called Tiphne for Tots. I have a Thanksgiving drive in November. I have a Back to School (event) in August,” Whitaker-Ward said. “So we’re very active in the community, where I reach out to other families that have lost their loved ones.”

There is a $15,000 reward for information that helps catch Hollis' killer. To report tips in the case, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.