Girl, 16, fatally shot

no suspects

Teen-ager found dead in neighbor's apartment in public housing complex


May 12, 2004|By Molly Knight | Molly Knight,SUN STAFF

Annapolis police are investigating the shooting death of a 16-year-old girl whose body was discovered early yesterday in a neighbor's apartment.

The body of Traykia Jones of the 100 block of Obery Court was found shortly before 2 a.m. in an upstairs bedroom of her next-door neighbor's apartment, police said.

Traykia was pronounced dead at the scene. The state medical examiner's autopsy report, returned to police yesterday afternoon, showed Traykia was a homicide victim who died from at least one gunshot wound.

Police have no suspects in the killing - the first in Annapolis this year.

Officer Hal Dalton, the city police spokesman, said Traykia left the apartment she shared with her aunt late Monday evening and went next door, telling relatives and friends that she wanted a quiet place to sleep. According to friends, Traykia often slept at the adjacent apartment, where a female friend lives with her three children.

On Monday night, however, the apartment was empty when Traykia arrived, Dalton said. At 1:52 a.m., a male friend of Traykia's went to check on her, and called police when he found her, naked and bleeding from the ear and head, Dalton said.

Investigators found no evidence of forced entry into the apartment, but police said the front door likely was unlocked. Dalton also said police have no evidence that Traykia was a victim of sexual assault.

Yesterday afternoon, Obery Court residents who gathered in the courtyard of the mustard-colored public housing complex - littered with scraps of garbage and a few children's toys - said they were stunned to hear about a killing in a neighborhood where violent crime is rare.

"What happened is outrageous," said Shante Warren, who was raised in Obery Court and now lives there with her 4-year-old son. "Traykia was a pretty cool person - she loved kids, and her face always glowed."

Warren said the killing makes her fear for her son's safety.

"When I grew up here you could play outside without shootings or drugs," Warren said. "Now I have to watch my son."

Ellen Watts, a three-year resident of Obery Court, said she, too, is concerned about her three grandchildren who often play kickball in the courtyard.

"My kids aren't coming out here to play anymore," Watts said.

For 15-year-old Andrea Smith, also a resident of Obery Court, Traykia's killing caused more grief than fear. Traykia, whom she described as fun-loving and cheerful, was also her best friend.

"Traykia loved to do people's hair," said Andrea, who used to spend time with Traykia and a group of local teen-age girls - some of them students at Annapolis High School, where Traykia had attended ninth grade.

Andrea said she cried yesterday morning when police carried the body of her friend through the courtyard.

"I just saw her last night," she said, adding that Traykia had beautiful hair the color of "cherry cola" and a broad smile.

Yesterday afternoon, the concrete square in the middle of Obery Court was quiet - absent was the usual throng of children who play kickball there. Residents said that until police solve the crime, they plan to keep their kids indoors.

A few teen-agers stood on the sidewalk, sharing stories about the life and death of their friend.

Among them was Andrea, who wiped sweat from her brow.

"It's hot today, and Traykia and I had plans," she said. "She promised me that she would go swimming."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.