Family tries to generates leads in teen's murder

After raising money for $15,000 reward, family takes flyers door-to-door

By Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - One day after a $15,000 reward for information in the death of a Jacksonville teen, his family hit the streets, talking to neighbors and looking for answers.

It's been five months since 19-year-old Thomas James Nunley was shot and killed walking along Fort Caroline Road after he left a friend's house.  He was just a half mile from his home.

"We've talked to a lot of grandparents and they realize our loss cause T.J. was just everything to us," said his grandmother, Luci Nunley.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said the needed new leads in the case and worked with the family and the Justice Coalition to coordinate the award.

The family said the reward and the their efforts is about keeping what happened to him fresh on peoples mind's and, hopefully, find someone who knows something about the teen's murder.

They say doing something is better than doing nothing and just waiting.

"That's the only way I can sleep at night," said the victim's uncle, Brian Nunley. "He was my nephew. I was very close to him> I loved him very much, and he meant the world to all of us."

The family spent Friday canvassing the neighborhood where Nunley died, just one day after they gathered to mark the five-month anniversary of his death.

Now armed with the reward, his family hopes the flyers will generate some information that will help police.

"We're hoping (that) passing out the flyers will jog somebody's memory," said Luci Nunley. "We saw some people who didn't even know it ha happened or how close it had happened to them."

One of those people was Kerry Miller.

"I've got an 18-year-old son," said neighbor Kerry Miller. "I've been thinking about it ever since I got the flyer."

The Nunleys knocked on Mary Smith's door, who says finding who's responsible is not just important for this family, but for the community.

"This person might strike again, and next time it may be my child. Or my granddaughter," Smith said. "So it's very important to find this person or persons, whoever it may be."

Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson says that will take the community helping law enforcement by coming forward with any information, no matter how small.

"Sometimes people discount what they may have seen or may have heard, thinking that its nothing that's big or great that's going to break this case," Jefferson said.

And until that day, Nunley's family says they'll keep pushing for answers. The family's goal was to hand out 1,700 flyers out by end of the day.

"We're doing it for us, but were doing it for him, because he deserves that," Brian Nunley said. "And we deserve to know why. I mean, somebody knows something."

Police said the investigation has been frustrating, and they hope the reward and the family's efforts will generate leads.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.

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