Mom left still seeking closure after prosecutors say no charges will be filed in son’s KC murder

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Dallas mom who was hoping for closure may never know what happened the night her son was shot in Kansas City.

Lanita Raney flew to Kansas City on Monday to meet with attorneys in the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and discuss the July 2017 shooting of her son, Frank Raney Jr.

“I took a late flight in thinking, again this was going to be good news to celebrate Mother’s Day,” Raney said while breaking into tears.

Frank Raney Jr.

Kansas City police found 24-year-old Frank Raney Jr. dead in his car near Bannister and McGee on July 8, 2017. His mom said he had been shot in the back of the neck.

“He was murdered in his car by, who we feel was, a neighbor that he gave a ride to,” Raney said. “It’s been an ongoing investigation. They finally arrested a suspect in late April.”

A friend was also in the car at the time of the shooting. Raney said the friend was able to give detectives enough details that lead them to the alleged suspect, who admitted to being in the car but claimed the gun went off as her son handed it to the man.

“What human being would leave a scene and not know if that person was alive or not?” Raney said. “What kind of person would do that but a killer?”

During her visit with a Jackson County assistant prosecutor, Raney said she was told they did not have enough proof beyond a reasonable doubt to charge the suspected man.

“I asked her, can we leave that up to the jury?” Raney recalled. “Can we indict him and leave it up to a jury? Can we let them decide that this is who killed my son because any person with common sense would know no one shoots themselves in the back of the neck?”

Raney said the assistant prosecutor advised her that she could contact the Kansas City Police Department in two weeks to pick up the car her son was shot in and his other belongings. She no longer believes justice will be served.

Lanita Raney

“I don’t feel like the prosecution is doing enough for these murdered boys who are getting killed on these streets in Kansas City, which is why I moved to Dallas,” Raney said.

As Raney prepared for her flight back to Dallas, she thought about other mothers in the metro dealing with the same pain.

“Don’t stop seeking justice for your child,” Raney said. “You’re your child’s voice, but you’re also the strength and backbone of your family.”

Although Raney hopes prosecutors change their mind about not pressing charges, she said she’s leaning on her faith to help her find closure.

“I’ve been a single mom for a long time, so I’m pretty strong, but this broke me,” said Raney. “All I can do now is pray for peace, pray for comfort on those days that are hard.”

A spokesperson with the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office said, "With every homicide, a committee of veteran prosecutors review and determine appropriate charges. As we told mother, there was not enough evidence to support charging at this time."

The spokesperson went on to explain that there is no statute of limitations on a homicide.

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