INDY UNSOLVED: Mother searches for answers in teen son’s murder

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 5, 2015)-- Kory Dajuan Carter's mother called her son "a jokester."

"He was a fun loving child. Everybody in the neighborhood loved him," said Carol Carter, sitting in the backroom of the east side house on the same street where the 16-year-old died.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) cold case detectives are working on a theory that Kory Carter caught a bullet meant for another kid on Schick Drive by the same name.

"It may have been a case of mistaken identity," said Lt. Roger Spurgeon, "as there was another Dajuan who lived in the neighborhood."

An investigator told FOX59 News that Carter had been with friends and had just pulled up outside his mother's home at about 10 p.m. on August 25, 2000, in order to run inside and change clothes before attending a party.

Carter had just finished his second day of his sophomore year at Broad Ripple High School, not long enough to make anyone mad in class, after a peaceful summer of video games and basketball.

Dajuan's mom had been out at the store buying groceries for a family reunion the next day.

"It just so happened I had came home just before he came home," she said, "so he had pulled up and I didn't know that he had pulled up until I heard the shot."

According to the original detective on the case, Carol Carter may have been the only one who heard the shot that killed her son.

"I heard a shot in this neighborhood you might hear a shot every once in a while so it didn't really dawn on me to even look outside and two of his friends came to the door and told me Dajuan got shot."

"They just told me that a truck had sped past and that Dajuan had gotten shot."

It's when Carol describes what happened next that her voice cracks as the words get caught in her throat.

"When I finally (got) downhill to see him in the car when I see that he got shot right here with a single shot," she says, pointing to the left part of her chest.

"When I opened the door he was just slumped over. I guess I just freaked out."

"Were you able to talk to him at all?" she was asked.

"Just me saying, 'Hold on, hold on, hold on Dajuan,'" Carol said like a mother who still second guesses what she did one night nearly 15 years ago, wondering if she shouldn't have done more. "He wasn't talking. He was just slumped over."

"I heard the shot but what if I had run to the window and saw anything? You know, you do think that."

Carol recalls that her son's friends confessed they don't know why he was shot and she believes them.

Dajuan Carter's death happened on a Friday night, which meant it got little coverage in the press that weekend and by Monday morning was likely forgotten by almost all except the friends, mother, sister and nieces left behind.

"I feel like that we're the only ones, family and his close friends are the only ones that actually care," said Keyiona Carter, who would still be four years older than her brother if he were here today.

"It's heartbreaking, senseless. You would think people would have more care about people's lives and things like that."

Apparently someone didn't in a quiet neighborhood on the east side where a dead son's picture still hangs on a mother's walls alongside a touching Thanksgiving Day letter written the year before in which a teenager expressed his love and appreciation for the woman who raised him.

"I just wonder what he would be like," said Carol. "Would he be that veterinarian that he talked about being? Would he be a professional? I just wished good things for him."

There were 96 murders in Indianapolis in 2000, far fewer than there were last year.

Hundreds of mothers have grieved over lost children since then.

Carol Carter's heart breaks for each one of them.

"It's just a mother's pain is different," she says. "It's just different knowing that something happened to your child and you don't know why, you don't know why stuff happens."

"You can't explain it unless you're in these shoes."

It's at this point that Carol Carter turned to the camera to address not only the mothers who lost children but the sons who took lives away in such a meaningless manner.

"It's crazy because of as much violence as is going on, when are you all going to wake up? Us mothers is going through this. Families are going through this."

"It just affects the whole community. It still affects me when I hear about another senseless killing murder of a young male. Especially a black male. It's crazy."

"I'm here today because I want everyone to know that I am Dajuan Carter's mother. This has happened over 15 years of a case being unsolved and my family wants closure. People talk so I know somebody knows what's going on."

"What happened to my son?"

If you know what happened to Dajuan Carter on August 25, 2000, at approximately 10 p.m. on Schick Drive when a truck sped by and a single shot was fired into a car with three teenage boys, call central Indiana Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS. Depending on what you know, your tip could be worth $1,000 and might provide some answers to a mother in pain.

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