INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Of the more than one hundred homicide victims in Marion County so far this year, its hard to imagine anyone who suffered more during his last hours than Trevon Mann.
The body of the 19-year-old eastsider was found shot to death in an abandoned apartment near 42nd St. and N. Post Rd. last January.
Mann had been missing for five days and his mother believes he was tortured.
Cathy Mann had her son’s remains cremated.
“My son left this world the same way he came in weighing six pounds,” she said. “You tell me the math on that.”
The math of murder in Marion County in 2018 adds up to approximately 107 homicides in Indianapolis, Lawrence and Speedway with IMPD’s clearance rate at 70%.
At least six cases have been ruled self-defense, with the outcome of last weekend’s triple homicide in the 2600 block of Ethel St. yet to be determined.
Daron Johnson was just 14 and attending a birthday party in Lawrence last June when there was a fight and at least two people fired a half dozen shots.
“He was caught in the crossfire and he didn’t make it,” said Cheree Sampson, a photo button depicting her son pinned to her blouse. “They only have one person locked up. All these kids is running around not saying anything, and if they are talking, they’re talking amongst each other and they’re not telling the detectives anything and these mothers aren’t letting their children talk.”
The sounds of silence from teenage witnesses and perpetrators and their parents grew louder last September when Matthew McGee, 13, was shot to death in front of a crowd behind a fast food restaurant in Castleton.
IMPD homicide detectives have been stymied by the refusal of parents to allow their children to talk about the killing of the Belzer Middle School student.
Daron Johnson should have been sitting in class at Belzer this semester.
“I just don’t understand why the mothers and the parents are not letting their children talk or even just coming forward,” said Sampson. “I don’t see how you could just sit there and knowing that your child has killed another child.”
Robert Fry has been on the job one month as an Indy Peacemaker, so designated by Mayor Joe Hogsett.
“Right now in today’s generation, we basically have children raising children, so we have a lot of young mothers and young fathers who are 28, 29 years old who are raising teenagers, but they didn’t have a teenage life themselves…so they really don’t know how to raise children,” he said. “They still want to party, they still want to have fun, but unfortunately for some of them, they still want to have fun with their children and have their children do the things that they do that’s not just cool.
“Kids tell everything on social media, and not just kids. Adults, too. Everyone puts everything on social media and so that’s one of the best ways to find out what’s going on in the city on Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter.”
Cathy Mann has taken an active role in her son’s case, from the first 48 hours he was missing, through the discovery of his body several days later and to passing on tips to investigators.
“Every other day I got someone calling my cell phone anonymous or hitting my Facebook page talking about they know who killed Trevon. They know who did this. They know who did that. Don’t call me and tell me. I’m not the prosecutor. I’m not the police. Call them and tell them.”
Mann’s frustration dissolved into tears as she prepared with Sampson and family and friends to release balloons into the air over Martin University to commemorate their lost loved ones.
“We’re talking a good talk but we’re not walking a good walk. I got one mother that showed up with me today. One mother,” she said, “and for Indianapolis to sit here and act like they don’t know what happened to my son, you wrong, you wrong.”
Mann said her infant grandson has gotten to know he departed father by running his fingers through the ashes of an urn.
“Indianapolis we got to do better,” she said. “We gotta put these guns down, and for you mothers that are out here on social media praising your kids, talking about you raising killers, shame on you.”
The balloons drifted up above the east side as two mothers remembered their slain children and reminded other moms how lucky they are not to be in their shoes.