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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

A year after daughter's murder, mother waits for answers

Nikki Cope was driving on the northeast side of Indianapolis when her daughter was shot and killed inside their car.

MARION, Ind. — For families who have had a loved one taken, the loss is compounded when they must wait for justice.

There were 245 homicides in Indianapolis last year. 126 of them remain open cases. That is 126 families waiting for answers and closure.

Nikki Cope has heard that the pain will ease with time, but a year later still feels like yesterday.

"I cry. I sleep. I find myself sleeping more, probably not to think, because Nya stays on my mind all day, every day," she said.

Last May, Cope was in the car with her daughter, down from their home in Marion for a day trip to the city. They were at a stoplight at East 38th Street and North Arlington Avenue when they heard shots.

"When I hollered, 'Oh my God, somebody is shooting!,' before I knew it, I looked over and my daughter falls forward," she said.

Credit: WTHR
Nikki Cope

She does not think they were targeted, but believes the shots came from a large crowd having a car show nearby.

"It was several shots. It wasn't just one. It was at least seven," Cope said. "I think they were maybe aiming at someone else or they were showing off."

Everything happened fast and in a matter of moments, her only child was gone.

"I pulled her out of the car so I could do CPR and a police officer walked up and I said, 'Are you gonna help me?' and he just looked down and I kind of felt like she was gone," Cope said.

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The home she and Nya shared is quiet now and it hurts.

"It's like you're waiting still for them. You're waiting for them to come through the door. And you know they're not coming… but it's just like a weight. Yeah, it is different. I don't know, it's just crazy," said Cope.

She keeps the memories alive because a year later, that's all that's left.

What she craves now are answers.

"She was my only child, you know, and someone taking her from me being stupid," she said. "I don't wish bad on the person – I just wish I knew who they were and why."