Los Angeles

Family Hopes Witnesses to Double Slaying Will Come Forward

Two mothers are still holding out hope that the killer of their children will be caught, more than a year after they were slain in South Los Angeles.

And detectives are hoping that newly released surveillance video may be able to help.

Monique Distin and Marquette Carter were outside of a tattoo shop at 48th and Western June 24, 2015 when a car pulled up next to theirs and opened fire, killing both.

"I have my days when I'm fine, some days,” said Tanya Summerise-Carter, Marquette’s mother. “It’s real fresh still and it’s very hurtful.”

The new video, in just a few short seconds, shows 28-year-old Marquette walking to the car, just a few seconds before the other car drives up.

"She was someone's child. My child," said Deveen Distin, Monique’s mother. "They don't understand how much it hurts. And for what?”

Twenty-one-year-old Monique was in the passenger seat of the car. She was wrapped up in a blanket at the time of the shooting.

"I have the blanket that she slept in that's wrapped around her with all the bullet holes in it,” her mother said.

Detectives arrived on the scene to find the aftermath of an all-too-frequent violent crime.

"This was just, in my mind, two innocent people who were viciously gunned down for no reason at all,” said Det. Dominick Iasparro of LAPD’s South Bureau Criminal Gang Homicide division.

More than a year since the murders, no one’s been brought to justice.

"I can't stop looking for him. I'm so used to him always being here," said Summerise-Carter of her son. She knows the pain of loss all too well. She lost her oldest son 12 years before Marquette’s death, also to gang violence.

"When he lost his brother, I think he felt like he lost everything," she said.

Monique’s family said the pain is new every day.

"She would light up a room when she walks in," Distin said.

"She has a family too. She has a baby that she left. She has a mom, she has brother and sisters and it's not fair," her sister Cheyenne Thorpe said, crying.

Adding to both family’s grief, Marquette and Monique were both parents themselves.

Marquette’s mother said community involvement with groups like Cease Fire has helped her cope with losing her two sons.

"I don't think the grief and the pain ever goes away. And you see it their eyes," said Det. Iasparro

Detectives said they know more people witnessed the murders than have come forward. Monique’s sister doesn’t doubt it.

"In every story somebody knows the truth and I know that somebody out there knows that," Cheyenne Thorpe said.

Both families hope someone will come forward.

"Use your human kindness,” Distin said. “And say something.”

Anyone with information is asked to call South Bureau Criminal Gang Homicide Division at 323-786-5100.

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