Family asks for help finding killer a year after murder of 21-year-old mother

Destiny Dennis was killed while passing through Jacksonville last January

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A family is desperate for answers following the 2019 murder of an Arkansas woman in Jacksonville.

It has been one year since 21-year-old Destiny Dennis was shot and killed and, as of Friday, no arrests have been made. Her family has no idea who killed her or why.

Her family told News4Jax on Friday that Dennis has a 17-month-old daughter who was there when she was killed.

Her mother, Emily Martin, who lives in Arkansas said the past 12 months have been the hardest of her life.

“She is just a very special young lady that had so many hopes and dreams and aspirations for her future and she has so much to offer the world. Her being taken away in the manner, in such a violent way, is very hurtful," Martin said.

Dennis lived in Arkansas and was on a trip from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta with her 5-month-old daughter and her daughter’s father the day of the shooting. He told Martin someone shot Dennis in their car during a robbery at a gas station. She died after she was dropped off with a gunshot wound at Baptist Medical Center in downtown Jacksonville that morning, according to a police incident report.

Dennis’ boyfriend told Martin the shooting was random.


"He said he didn’t recognize the person, he didn’t remember anything, that someone just came up to him and said give me everything you have and attempted to rob them and they tried to comply and it apparently wasn’t enough and the person shot in the car and shot Destiny,” Martin said.

Dennis’s baby is now nearly a year and a half years old and is being raised by her grandmother.

"To see her every day is a blessing, but it’s also bittersweet because I miss my daughter and I would rather be seeing Marley as my granddaughter on weekends than having to raise my daughter’s child because she’s no longer here with me,” Martin said.

Martin said she wants whoever killed her daughter to come forward so their family can finally have closure.

After Dennis’s death, her father said that she was caught up in sex trafficking but she was trying to get out of it. Her mother said that is only speculation, not a substantiated theory.

Anyone with information about Dennis’s death is urged to call Crimestoppers.

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