Police, loved ones beg public for info in Independence 18-year old’s murder on Labor Day

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- One family in Independence is crying out for justice.

It's been two weeks since their son, 18-year-old DeSean Milligan, was murdered at the Hawthorne Place Apartments on N. 5th Street. Independence police said his murder took place around 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, and the shooting happened outside one of the apartments.

His mother, Michelle Hill, told reporters his murder was a pointless act of violence.

Hill said her son was a funny kid who was loved by everyone, including people at those apartments, where he often spent time visiting friends.

Police said they haven't received any useful information from the public, other than a clip of surveillance video that shows a car they believe belongs to the person who shot Milligan.

"Some days, I wake up and think it's a dream until I realize he's not coming back," Hill said while fighting back tears.

Milligan, a graduate of William Chrisman High School, was about to start work at a nearby pizza shop. Hill said he was saving up money to get his own place to live.

Hill said her son was shot in the back, and no one's stepping up to help police find the person who did it.

"At the end of the day, no one has the right to take his life. No one. He didn't do nothing for you to take his life," said Monice Milligan, the victim's aunt.

"We want everyone to know, if it was your child, we would speak up for yours. We just ask that you speak up for ours," she said.

Kansas City CrimeStoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest in the case.

Officer John Syme, Independence police spokesperson, said the Hawthorne Place Apartments have two full-time officers assigned to patrol there. Syme added that DeSean Milligan didn't have a significant criminal record.

"We need someone to come forward," Syme said. "We know that four or five shots were heard, and we know there were people outside when it happened. We also know there are people who know what happened, but they don`t want to come forward and talk to us."

Hill said people in that neighborhood know what happened, and she hopes it's eating at their conscience. She said two weeks is too long to go without closure in this case. Police said Milligan is due to be buried on Tuesday in Independence.

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