Nine years later, family still praying for justice in KC man’s unsolved murder

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Monday marked a difficult day for the family of Michael Rhodes.

"I don't even want to think about it. That day was the worst day of my life," said Fonteshia Rhodes as she burst into tears just thinking about May 6, 2010.

That was the day somebody shot her 20-year-old boyfriend in his back while he was hanging out with a friend at a Kansas City gas station.

"I told him not to got," Fonteshia said.

She said Michael and his friend walked to 45th and Cleveland. Michael was talking to Fonteshia on his cell phone at the time.

"Five minutes later, his friend called me. I heard everything," Fonteshia recalled.

She heard the gunshot witnesses said a man fired at Michael.

Rhodes' family said surveillance cameras at the gas station caught the guy on video before he took off.

A bleeding Michael stumbled across the street and died in another friend's front yard.

Michael Rhodes

"Michael was so sweet, caring and protective over me," she said.

At the time, Fonteshia was pregnant with the couple's first child.

"We both wanted a girl, but we got the boy, and he's a blessing," Rhodes said.

Michael Rhodes Jr. is now eight years old. He constantly looks at  pictures and asks about his dad.

"He and his dad look like they can be identical twins. I just tell my son, 'Your dad's no longer here with us, but I'm here and your dad loves you,'" Fonteshia said.

"The last nine years have been so hard, especially for my grandson," said Dianna Rhodes, Michael's mom. "I miss everything about my son, especially his smile.  Michael had a good heart. He loved working in the food pantry at church and helping the elderly. It's not a day that goes by that I don't think about him."

On Sunday, Dianna will mark another Mother's Day without her son.

"It will be hard. I'm going to miss him making me coffee, breakfast and just hanging around me on that day," she said. "For somebody to sneak out from behind the back of that gas station, shoot him in his back and then leave is just wrong. I do want justice in this case, you know, closure. We are leaving it in God's hands."

The family hopes a $10,000 reward will convince somebody to come forward and talk to police. They said maybe then Michael's unsolved murder will finally be solved.

If you have any information that could help police in this case, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477. All tips are anonymous.

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