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'And now I'm here alone': Mother still seeks justice for daughter killed by stray bullet

Nya Mae Cope.JPG
Posted at 9:07 PM, May 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 08:04:56-04

MARION — A Marion mother is still holding out hope that her daughter's killer will be brought to justice.

A year ago Monday, Nya Mae Cope, 16, was struck and killed by a stray bullet near East 38th Street and North Arlington Avenue in Indianapolis.

Nya's mother, Nikki, said she relives that night often. She was driving Nya and her friend to Indy to visit a friend and eat at Nya's favorite restaurant.

They were passing through when Nya was killed.

Nikki said there was a lot going on in the area at the time, including a large crowd.

"I always think I can't I cry out, I pray, I cry out to her a lot because I know she lives through me," Nikki said. "You know missing her is the hardest part of not having her. Every day to talk, to see, to take care of her, that's all I did, was went to work and lived my life every day for her. Every single day and that was just yanked from me in a matter of quickly."

If you step inside Nikki's home, photos of her bubbly daughter who loved makeup are frozen in time as a baby, in elementary school and as a teenager.

"And now I'm here alone," Nikki said. "All the time. It's so quiet too and I'm not used to it being this quiet. I'm used to kids."

At the time, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said detectives believe the stray bullet that went through the backseat headrest and hit Nya came from someone in the crowd.

Nikki believes someone knows something. She wants them to come forward.

"I just wish they would come forward, someone," Nikki said. "One of those people or someone that they told. I know that people talk."

She said justice to her means someone coming forward so she can breathe a sigh of relief. She continues to live her life for her daughter.

"I know she's in God's care," Nikki said. "I know she's ok and I'll see her again. I just don't know when -- that's the hardest part. I am missing her so much."

The Cope Family is holding a memorial at 7:30 p.m. Monday at her graveside. They plan on holding a moment of silence and praying for Nya.

IMPD is still investigating the incident and is asking for anyone with information to call detectives at 317-327-3475 or report tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).