MITCHELL: Getting justice for Latoya Jackson should be a priority

SHARE MITCHELL: Getting justice for Latoya Jackson should be a priority

Latoya Jackson | Provided photo

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For eight months, the 11-year-old boy was known as Case 2015-3057.

His 10-year-old brother was Case 2015-3058.

Last week the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified these murdered children as Andrew Simms Jr. and Kameron Simms.

Their decaying bodies were found on July 18 in a bungalow in the Chatham neighborhood along side the bodies of their 27-year-old mother, Latoya Jackson, and 5-year-old brother, Cantrell Williams.

An autopsy on Jackson last year determined the young woman was strangled, and Cantrell died of smoke inhalation.

A fire apparently was set in the home to cover up the crime. The children’s causes of death were attributed to the “probable inhalation of products of combustion and incendiary house fire,” according to the information released by the medical examiner last week.

The deaths have been ruled homicides.


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At the time the badly decomposed bodies were discovered, family members told reporters Jackson was a domestic violence victim.

“Chicago Police Department detectives continue to investigate the incident, hoping to solve it as soon as possible and help bring closure to Ms. Jackson’s family. This case was complicated because of the condition of physical evidence,” a Chicago Police Department spokesman said in an email Monday.

“Detectives are aware of the domestic history involved in this case and continue to investigate known associates. At this time, we are not in a position to name a person of interest.”

That’s just chilling.

A joint investigation was conducted by several agencies, including the Chicago Police Bomb and Arson Unit and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives.

I know that some of us no longer feel anything when we hear that a stranger has been shot dead in the street, especially when the police claim the dead person was a known gang member.

But someone strangled a young woman and killed her children before setting a fire, then went on with his life.

We call men cowards when they shoot their wives or girlfriends and then turn the gun on themselves.

We want hell to wait.

But where are the voices for justice for this single mother and her three sons?

Frankly, without those voices, this case could end up on the bottom of a very large pile. The Chicago Police Department has a lot on its plate.

There were 36 murders in April, bringing the total of murders for the first four months of 2016 to 175.

But this unsolved domestic violence case cannot be allowed to become a cold case. That could embolden other abusers.

And if you think this couldn’t happen to someone you care about think again.

In two out of three female homicide cases, females are killed by a family member or an intimate partner. And women age 18 to 34 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence according to Safe Horizon, the largest nonprofit victim services agency in the U.S.

Jackson was vulnerable because she wasn’t as close to family members as she should have been. After all, it took a complaint by a stranger about a foul odor for someone to even discover this crime.

We may not know who killed Jackson and her boys, but we know that person is extremely dangerous.

He snuffed out the life of this mother and erased her footprints.

Only justice can stop him from committing such heinous acts again.

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