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New Haven teen homicide victim’s mother still seeking justice

NEW HAVEN --  It's been nearly three weeks since 14-year-old Tyrick Keyes was shot to death in New Haven's Newhallville neighborhood, where residents, including the victim's mom, have shared ideas on improving the safety of children.

Keyes had just finished 8th grade. He never had the opportunity to find out he was going to be allowed to skip 9th grade.

"Honestly, I'm not doing well because I still didn't find my son's killer," said Demethra Telford, the teen's mother.

Inside her home, she has created memorials for her son, who she refers to as Reese.

"This was his hat," she said pointing to items in the dining room memorial. Also included: new sneakers he wanted for school.

Telford wants to make sure other parents in New Haven don't suffer the same sorrow.

"People need to become snitches and, I hate to say that, but they do and then a lot of crime wouldn't happen," she had.

Barbara Fair, a localal activist, and former social worker for the family, says New Haven needs to get back to showing children they matter.

"We had bowling. We had rollerskating. We had indoor movies, outdoor movies. We had a teen center," said Fair.

July 20, Demethra Telford had to make the toughest decision of her life: taking her son, who dreamed of being a dancer, off of life support.

"I promised my son, as I had to pull the plug from him, that I would find justice," she said.

Keyes' bedroom is typical for a 14-year-old boy. It's full of shoes. But, what's not typical at all is an urn, with his ashes in it.

"I talk to him every night. I hold his picture and I cry, cry myself to sleep," said Telford.

On Thursday, she will meet with Mayor Toni Harp (D-New Haven) to further discuss ideas to affect change in New Haven.