Death of Harvey girl killed by stray bullet on 12th birthday remains unsolved

Eric Horng Image
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Death of Harvey girl killed by stray bullet on birthday still unsolved
Two persons of interest have been identified by police in the stray bullet death of Kentayvia Blackful, but no one has actually been charged.

HARVEY, Ill. (WLS) -- Two persons of interest have been identified by police in the death of Kentayvia Blackful, who was killed by a stray bullet on her 12th birthday, but the case remains open. Her parents say someone needs to step up.

Each year since her death, this day brings her family both joy and sorrow.

"I fight with it, because I want to celebrate her life, but at the same time I'm mourning her death," said Kentnilla Blackful, mother.

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Blackful died on Sept. 24, 2019, the day after she was struck by a stray bullet that pierced the front window of her family's Harvey home.

She died just a couple hours after loved ones sang her Happy Birthday in the hospital.

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"It's never going to get easy," said her father Trenton Blackful. "Just got to deal with it day by day. Have your good days, and your bad days."

Two years later, her loved ones are still seeking justice. And even though two persons of interest have been identified by investigators, the case is still open. The Cook County State's Attorney's Office referred all questions to Harvey Police, who earlier this year told ABC7 enough evidence to charge the individuals had been presented to prosecutors.

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"All I'm getting is the fingers pointing, and we deserve more than that," said Kentnilla. "The state's attorney can do more. The police department can do more, and the mayor of Harvey can do more."

Blackful's family said they'll continue to celebrate her birthday as if she was still here.

"I feel her all thetime. She's going to want me to do what's best," Trenton said.

Blackful died a few days before a planned birthday skating party. This weekend her family will host another skating party to celebrate what would have been her 14th birthday.