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4 years without answers: Family calls for renewed attention in brutal murders of young couple, baby

Vigil held Wednesday for Quesean Trotter, Ariyan Johnson, and Arielle

Four years after a young couple and their baby were found dead in a burning home in Arlington, their family is calling for renewed attention in the investigation of the brutal murders. Family members told News4JAX they want the heinous murderer(s) to face the consequences of what was done.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Four years after a young couple and their baby were found dead in a burning home in Arlington, their family is calling for renewed attention in the investigation of the brutal murders.

Family members told News4JAX they want the heinous murderer(s) to face the consequences of what was done.

The latest from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on the case is that 19-year-old Ariyan Johnson, 20-year-old Quasean Trotter, and 11-month-old Arielle Trotter were found by police in a burned-down home in December 12, 2018.

The mother and father were found with gunshot wounds. After an autopsy, investigators found the baby had an injury to her forehead and suffered smoke inhalation.

The state fire marshal determined early the cause of the fire is suspicious but has never determined exactly what started it.

In the years since the holiday murders, grandfather Mario Peterson said fear and despair have grown into frustration.

“Just to see that part of the taken from me... it just feels like my world has been ripped from me and that I just can’t even move on without having any closure in my life,” Peterson said. “It’s just like every year at this time, I can’t function I can’t do nothing. I just feel empty,”

FROM N4J ARCHIVES: Family prepares to bury man, woman, child found murdered

Peterson said his repeated contact to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office turns up the same every time: No new information.

“No answers nothing. They have clues. We’ve tried to be patient with the JSO officers,” he said.

While Peterson said he accepted the investigation has gone cold, there is one hope he has not yet abandoned-- that someone comes forward on their own.

“I hope God touches them, especially during Christmas time,” Peterson said “It’s just like every year at this time, I can’t function I can’t do nothing. I just feel empty,”

His advice to News4JAX readers is to cherish those close to you because life, he said, is never guaranteed.

“You know... it’s just something that all families should be able to think about Christmas time and really cherish what they love the most in life. Family togetherness, and knowing that any given day, we can lose this part of our life,”

Anyone with information about the triple homicide is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward of up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.

News4JAX reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for comment.


About the Authors:

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.

Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.