Indy family spends Thanksgiving praying for justice as murder of 24-year-old father remains unsolved 1 year later

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- For the second year in a row, an Indianapolis family is spending their Thanksgiving in mourning.

Just before midnight last year, a 24-year-old father-to-be was gunned down near 42nd and Mitthoeffer on the city’s northeast side.

That cases remains unsolved.

A search of IMPD records from 2017 shows more than 90 of the 177 homicides last year remain unsolved, including the death of Jamontez Woods.

Woods was killed by gunfire at an apartment complex on Shady Oak drive just two minutes before midnight on Nov. 22, 2017. A year later, his family grieved on Thanksgiving by releasing balloons to the heavens.

“This day has been really hard for us,” said Tina Bradley, Woods' aunt.  “I really miss his voice and just him around me period.”

Tina remembers her nephew as a sharp dresser who always looked out for his family.

“It’s been hard not hearing him come through that door saying, ‘Auntie you need me to do something?’  It’s just been hard,” said Bradley.

Woods died just two months before he would have become a first-time father.  His little girl, Jai’Lee, is now nearly 10 months old and will never meet her dad.

“He had a future, a job and a baby he can’t see anymore or will never see,” said Bradley.

With just over a month left in the year, Indianapolis has seen 140 murders compared to 145 at the same time last year.

“It don’t make sense.  When is it going to stop?  When are people going to grow up?  They act like they have no heart and no conscience,” said Bradley.

Woods’ young daughter and family gathered Thursday for a vigil in his honor and called for an end to the city’s constant violence. They're also hoping someone helps police solve their case.

“That would be lovely.  That would be a relief.  Not knowing who done it or what reason hurts,” said Bradley.  “Somebody needs to be held accountable for this.  He needs justice.”

As always, anyone with information on the case or any other unsolved homicide can contact Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.