‘It’s Hell’: Jackson Families Still Seeking Answers 1 Year After Disappearance, Killing
JACKSON, MI – It’s been a year since Tanova Ross’ family last saw her – and they still have no answer as to what happened.
The family knows a little more than February 2, 2020, when Ross, 33, was last seen at America’s Best Value Inn, 830 Royal Dr., in Blackman Township, said mother Tinny Ross. Ross left all of his belongings in the motel room, including his phone and wallet, Tinny Ross said.
His foot may have been found in the Big river in September, but the family are still awaiting the results of a DNA test, which could take six months, Tinny Ross said.
“Like this foot, is it my daughter’s?” she said. “Is it? Or is it not? I shouldn’t have to wait that long for an answer.
In the meantime, his family is grappling with his absence. Ross never went a day without talking to his 15-year-old daughter, the family said.
“It’s unbearable,” said Father Linnie Ross. “It’s crazy, every day I wake up, ‘Where is she? Why would she leave her daughter? Unless someone held her back or killed her, they couldn’t have kept her away from (her) daughter.
About 35 people gathered on Tuesday evening to demand responses to cases of missing persons and unsolved murders. They released balloons that said “Forever in Hearts” and lanterns with personalized messages in the night sky on February 2 along the Grand River near the intersection of Pearl and Mechanic streets.
Cameron Kasprzycki’s family joined the memorial. Cameron, 14, was shot and killed on February 21, inside his home in the 500 block of Orange Street. No one has been arrested in this case.
“We know as much as when it first happened,” said sister Makenzie Kasprzycki. “We really don’t know anything. It is as if my brother is lost in a file of papers.
Families say they just want answers and justice. It is impossible to have a closure and to mourn loved ones completely without these responses, they said.
“You have to have a closure,” Linnie Ross said. “You must have answers. … It’s hell.
The lack of responses is intolerable, his family said. Police said they had no update on the case.
People must start demanding responses from police and elected officials, Ross’s sister Tamara Sherlin said. She organized the memorial in two days and plans to hold more events once the weather gets warmer.
“I didn’t want to do it just for mine,” Sherlin said. “I wanted to do it for others … (My) heart bleeds for them.”
People need to recognize that the pain of losing a loved one without answers will affect everyone in one way or another, Sherlin said. She said asking the police and the justice system to resolve these cases would help in future cases.
“It will be on their back door, whatever your economic status, whatever your background, it will eventually affect you,” Sherlin said. “I think right now it’s affecting all areas. We have to clean it up and it has to start with the justice system. They are public servants… They have to start doing their job. Now is the time to hold people to account in the justice system at all levels. They have to do the job they are paid to do.
Relying on other families who are also looking for answers has been helpful, said Whitney Kasprzycki. The memorial enabled everyone to support each other.
Cameron’s family said they were victims of harassing phone calls and texts in the months following his death. Those messages eventually ceased and her mother, Nicole Harris, was finally able to mourn in November, she said. She looked at pictures and realized that it had been nine months since she could speak to him.
While waiting for answers, families must find ways to continue with their lives. Tinny Ross hasn’t been able to sleep well and has lost weight since Ross disappeared. She is worried about how the continued lack of responses will affect her physical health.
“My heart is broken into a million pieces that keep breaking into more pieces,” Tinny Ross said.
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