CANTON: Family of 14-year-old Sylvia McGee believe the teen was lured out of her home by a teen she believed was her friend and then shot in the head by another teen.
Police would not confirm nor deny the family’s allegations, saying only the investigation continues. No one has been charged in the child’s death.
Still, her mother, Sophia Milini, told the Canton Repository, "I just want to know why — why they would do that to my baby? Why shoot her in the back of the head? What was so serious? …"
The city has seen two homicides so far this year. The first was the March 16 beating death of 2-year-old Kai'jah Derohn.
Canton City School administrators "re-appropriated" security and counseling personnel Monday and Tuesday to provide more coverage at buildings where it was most needed as a result of the shooting, according to a statement from the district.
Steve Humphrey, safety and security supervisor for the schools, said the district will position security personnel “until we no longer think it is needed.”
A man walking his dog called 911 about 4 a.m. Saturday to report a body lying in the middle of Bieyl Court Southwest between 10th and 11th streets.
Officers arrived to find Sylvia dead. They found her cellphone and dialed a number.
The teen’s grandmother, Sylvia Milini, for whom she was named, answered the call and then notified the teen's mother, Sophia Milini.
Police said two boys were questioned. One of them, a 13-year-old, was arrested on charges of lying to the police. He was booked into the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center. A police news release said additional charges may be pending.
The victim's family said it was uncommon for Sylvia to be out in the middle of the night. They believe she went outside to talk to a 13-year-old boy they described as her best friend.
Her grandmother said Sylvia frequently talked to the boy via social media, adding, "I don’t know what he told her to get her to come outside."
But the teen's mother said, she was a loyal friend and a happy teenager.
"She loved to dance and do hair and she loved to be with her friends," Sophia Milini said. "She was a smart, intelligent, friendly little girl who always had a smile on her face."
Milini's grandmother added Sylvia was "very outgoing, very outspoken," and that the teen planned to go into cosmetology when she grew up.
"She always said she was going to open up a shop in Atlanta where all the money was," Sylvia Milini said.
McGee was also very tall.
She was 5-foot-11, her mother said.
Sylvia, who turned 14 in February, attended the Compton Learning Center’s Connections Program and she ran track.
She was the eldest of Sophia Milini’s four children.
Sophia Milini said she wants her daughter’s real friends to “Keep living and stay strong and talk to somebody if they need to talk to someone and remember how good of a person she was.”
Services for Sylvia are pending.
Reach Lori Steineck at 330-580-8309 or email@example.com.