Reporting Cherri Gregg
Filed underCrime, Crime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been one month since 29-year-old Malisha Jessie was shot twice in the head in the Tioga section of Philadelphia and left dead in the street, and no one has come forward with information.
But the family of this beloved mother is not giving up on finding her killer.
“Somebody saw her laying there,” says her brother, Kevin Jessie (at left in top photo), as tears rolled down his eyes. “Somebody saw those two gunshots.”
Known as “Lai Lai” to her friends, Malisha Jessie, 29, was gunned down early Sunday morning on April 7th. Shot once in the cheek and once in the temple, the nursing assistant, aspiring musician, and avid biker was found dead, alone on the concrete on the intimate 3200 block of Bailey Street.
“There’s no way to explain what took place that day,” says Kevin. “You can’t even justify somebody being extremely angry to do something like that. To shoot a female at close range like that… just crazy.”
Although Lai Lai had been charged with assault in the past, her family says she had no serious enemies.
“Everybody respected her as an individual,” says Priscilla Jessie, Lai Lai’s younger sister (holding photo of herself and her sister). “She used to fight a lot, but she was a very fair person. So all that she got into, nobody has ever come back and hurt her. This is on a whole other level.”
The family held a vigil for Lai Lai hours after she was found dead. Hundreds came out from all over the city to show support for her and her family.
“They came from Germantown, West Philly, South Philly, Delaware, Jersey, Maryland,” says Priscilla. “She was known — everybody knew her, she traveled, she liked meeting new people.”
Lai Lai died miles from her Spring Garden neighborhood. Her car was just a few blocks away. Her family says Lai Lai was always careful, so how and where she died was surprising.
“It wasn’t her normal hangout spot,” says Priscilla. “And that block is so small, somebody must have seen something, heard something.”
Yet no one has come forward.
Police refused to speak about the investigation but say the public’s help is desperately needed. The family agrees.
“Right now, there’s all these rumors speculating about what could have happened,” says Priscilla. “But no one’s giving definitive answers on what actually occurred.”
In the meantime, the family is fighting to ensure the future of Malisha’s 11-year-old son, Myzeh. He celebrated his birthday a few days ago, with his mother on his mind.
“We took him out to eat, so he was happy about that,” says Priscilla, “But I have to give him a few pep talks to keep his head up. I think it’s better to talk about it.”
The family says they won’t give up on finding Lai Lai’s killer. They’ve reached out to radio stations and reporters, hoping someone will eventually come forward.
“She did everything hard — she loved hard, she fought hard, she loved her son hard,” says Aiking Jessie, Lai Lai’s oldest brother. “We don’t want vengeance. We want justice. We just want people to come forward so we can be at peace with this situation.”
If you have any information about Malisha’s Jessie’s murder, contact the Philadelphia Police Department’s homicide division at 215-686-3334.
The family has set up a fund for Lai Lai’s son at Citizens Bank: “Lai Lai Angel In Zeh We Trust,” Account #6261186479.