Police still need help finding 6-year-old's killer

March 22, 2012 4:23:21 PM PDT
Seven months ago, 6-year-old Arianna Gibson was killed by a bullet fired outside of a home while she was asleep. Her murder remains unsolved.

Police believe they can solve this case. They just need some help from the community.

There are still bullet holes in the walls of the house where Arianna Gibson was killed. The window through which a gunman fired indiscriminately is now covered by a piece of wood.

Two teenagers sleeping on the living room floor the morning of the shooting were wounded and survived. Arianna Gibson did not. She took a bullet to the chest as she slept on a couch.

There was outrage. There were marches. Police almost immediately questioned a person of interest, but didn't have enough to charge him.

"The word on the street is a lot of people are saying this is who did it," said Thomas Byrne, CPD chief of detectives. "We're gonna need someone to come forward and help us out."

There was a block party that continued into the early morning hours around the time of the shooting, and it is believed that a young male relative of Arianna had been targeted.

If there are any witnesses, they have not come forward.

Community activist Andrew Holmes and at least two ministers have questioned the level of cooperation from Arianna's own relatives, saying they asked about increasing a $5,000 reward that had been offered earlier.

"I had calls about more money. From the family. Yes. They want more money. More money. I had calls about that," said Holmes. "They shouldn't put a penny on this child's life just to turn a perpetrator in to the Chicago Police Department."

"They think I know who did the shooting...No I do not," said one of Arianna's relatives who asked that her name not be used and face not shown. She said the family's only interest is bringing the killer to justice.

Police say the family has been cooperative, and while their person of interest has not changed, they don't have the corroborating witness or evidence to bring charges.

There were people awake in the house at the time of the shooting, but it is unclear whether anyone got a good look at the shooter. Without an eyeball witness, without third-party corroboration, without forensic evidence, prosecutors can't make a case even if police are pretty sure who the killer is.

The passage of time doesn't help, but there is no statute of limitations for murder.