Wednesday would have been 22-year-old Maryiah Coleman’s due date, but rather than celebrating a new baby, her family will be holding a rally to refocus attention on the search for her killer.
In addition, family and friends are pushing for increased security, possibly video cameras or a police substation, in the troubled area around Winburn Drive, near Winburn Middle School, where the shooting occurred.
The rally will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday outside the Fayette County Circuit Courthouse in downtown Lexington. The event was organized by the families of Maryiah Coleman and her unborn son, Jakobe.
“We don’t want this to be something that after a while ... we don’t see or hear anything about it,” said Kenya Ballard, Jakobe’s aunt. “We want to keep this at the surface.”
Coleman, who was eight months pregnant, was walking her family’s dog outside the Matador North Apartments on Winburn Drive on the night of Sept. 7 when she was shot in the back and left face-down by the front entrance. Coleman and the baby died at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. Since then, investigators have been asking anyone who saw anything to come forward.
“We want to make the public aware that no one has been arrested in her murder,” said Tamara Coleman, Maryiah’s mother. “We want the public to know that we’re still looking for the person who did this.”
In addition to bringing attention to the case, the family will be gathering signatures Wednesday night for a petition to increase security measures in the Winburn community. The petition calls for discussions about a possible police substation in the area, a community center for youth or the installation of security cameras.
“The people in the community are afraid to talk, so at least with the cameras no one would have to talk,” Coleman said. “I think it would help bring down the crime in the area.”
The event also will include speeches from several local preachers; others can speak as well, Ballard said.
In preparation for the rally, family and friends have been making posters and passing out fliers in the community.
“Whoever wants to come is more than welcome,” Ballard said. “Bring a friend or two, bring whoever you want.”
Many in the community are feeling the loss of Maryiah and Jakobe, Ballard said.
“This would’ve been his first Halloween, that’s all (Maryiah) would talk about — her little Halloween baby,” Ballard said. “She just wanted a pumpkin for him.”
Even the location of the rally is significant to the family, Ballard said.
“Eventually, when they catch the person who did this, Circuit Court is where the families will receive justice,” Ballard said.
Wednesday’s event will be the second gathering organized by Maryiah’s family in the weeks after her death. A vigil was held on Winburn Drive the night after her she died.