MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It's been eight months since 2-year-old Laylah Washington was shot and later died from injuries tied to a road rage incident in Hickory Hill. Laylah would have turned 3-years-old Wednesday. Although she won't get to blow out her candles, the search for her killer continues.
"We have received several Crime Stoppers tips and are actively following up on them," said The Memphis Police Department. "There is message we want to send to those who were in the car the night Laylah was killed. We know that everyone in the car that night did not pull the trigger. You have the opportunity to do the right thing before it is too late."
"Today is Laylah's birthday," said Leslie Washington, Laylah's mother.
However, it isn't the celebration of life Washington was hoping for. The guest of honor is gone, because she was snatched away by a senseless killing, while the trigger man remains free.
"People don't want to own up to the things they do. They take the coward road out," she said.
Three years ago today, Washington’s life changed when she welcomed a baby girl in the world. "The best gift I ever received," said Washington.
A gift she says she cherished, rocked and held tight for two years.
She never imagined she would find herself holding her daughter in her arms as the little girl held on for life after being shot.
"I just wish the community would help the detectives, because they can't do it alone," said Washington.
When the shooting happened in June and Laylah died a few days later, investigators brought in some people for questioning but made no arrests. Since then, there's been silence.
This mother doesn't understand how, despite a video and billboards, the streets have kept a killer hidden.
"This is Memphis, everyone talks about everything. I'm pretty sure someone knows. They are just covering it up," she said.
On Sunday, Laylah's family celebrated her life with a birthday memorial celebration. They blew out candles and wished for a miracle.
"My wish is for her to be back here. It's not going to happen, so I just wish someone would come forward. That would be a great birthday gift for Laylah," the mother said.
Washington's message to her daughter's killer is clear - come forward, come clean and help investigators solve Laylah's murder.
"You don't want to own up to you killing a 2-year-old baby," added Washington.
She says it's the perfect day to help mend her broken heart.
If you know anything about this crime, there is a more than $20,000 being offered as a reward. Call Crime Stoppers at (901)-528-CASH.