After nine years with no answers, Statesboro police are still seeking information about the Aug. 19, 2012, murder of Akeila Roschell Martin, shot in a bar parking lot on Proctor Street.
Amid a crowd of hundreds, Martin “was shot and killed while in the parking lot of the then Platinum Lounge … at approximately 2:50 a.m.,” said Statesboro police Capt. Jared Akins.
Officers “were on vehicle and foot patrol in the area when they heard multiple gun shots and rushed to the scene,” he said. “There was a large crowd of 200 to 300 people in the parking lot when the incident occurred.”
Police obtained surveillance video from the Statesboro Herald, just across the street, during the investigation. The video shows people scattering just after the shots were fired but reveals no clear footage identifying a suspect.
“When the officers arrived, they located two victims — Sadondra Brianna Scarboro and Akeila (Roschell) Martin,” he said. Scarboro was transported to the hospital and treated for her injuries.
Responding officers secured the scene while Detective Keith Holloway and other officers interviewed “a large number of people” who were present when the shooting took place.
However, in spite of rewards offered to anyone with information, no one has yet admitted knowledge of who fired the shots.
Barbara Hightower, Martin’s mother, has repeatedly appealed to the public to help solve the murder. This week, she spoke to police with a message to anyone who might know what happened.
“To all the people on the outside, I am a mom with a caring heart that lost a big part of my life,” she said. “I lost my youngest daughter to someone with no heart at all. I want you to put yourself in my shoes of loving someone who had a kind heart and would have done anything for anyone.
“She was a sweet young lady, and someone took her from her five kids,” she continued. “Her kids ask me every day what happened to their Momma. Till this day, I still don’t know how to tell them what happened to her.
“To all the mothers and other people that saw what happened that morning, please have a heart and tell what you saw. Put yourself in my shoes, to lose an important person that you bring into the world. I cry day and night knowing that I will never see my daughter again.”
Each year on the anniversary of Martin’s death the family holds a memorial ceremony, but the loss is felt daily, she said.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t miss her. Her sister, brothers, and her kids miss her very much. We all miss her. Please have a heart and tell the truth about what happened to my daughter, Akeila Roschell Martin. She didn’t deserve to die.”
Police have not stopped searching.
“This case has been continuously worked since the murder of Akeila Martin,” Akins said.
The monetary reward is still being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender.
Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact Detective Keith Holloway at the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911. You may also anonymously submit information to firstname.lastname@example.org. All information is strictly confidential.