Memphis mother searches for 17-year-old son’s killer

Manhunt Monday

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The last eight months of Laketa Smith’s life have been difficult as she spends her days trying to cope with the violent and senseless murder of her son.

Memphis Police say 17-year-old Jalen Dodge was killed last March, only a few feet from his home on Sunset Street in North Memphis.

“He was a good kid. It’s not fair,” she said. 

Smith said Jalen spent most of his time playing video games with his friends, and had a 3.5 GPA in school.

The night he was killed, Jalen was taking food to his father. Just moments after he left, the family heard gunfire and went to check on him. That’s when Smith’s oldest son found Jalen’s body.

“He called me with a scream and a cry that I will never forget,” Smith said. “‘Jalen, oh my God, Momma, please Momma.’”

Smith believes someone knows who murdered her son but they won’t talk to police.

“All this no snitching, snitches get stitches is ridiculous,” she said. “It makes no absolute sense, because an innocent child has lost his life.”

If you know who killed Jalen Dodge, call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

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