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Mother Seeks Answers in Daughter's 2002 Killing | News

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Mother Seeks Answers in Daughter's 2002 Killing
Marie Sumlin hopes that her daughter's killer is brought to justice.

LAS VEGAS -- Homicides are up 217 percent in Las Vegas over this time last year.

Metro Police have their hands full, and on top of that, the agency is also dealing with more than 1,000 cases that have gone cold and remain unsolved.

The family of 17-year-old Nyeisha Johnson is among the families who have yet to find out who their loved one's killer is.

Nyeisha, a teenager from Las Vegas, was stabbed to death in April 2002.

Ten years later, there are still no suspects and no motive. But as 8 News NOW learned Tuesday, Metro Police detectives may soon have new evidence to work with to help track down her killer.

In the early morning of April 18, 2002, police found Nyeisha's body on Kyle Canyon Road near Mount Charleston.

"For someone to stab her 100 times, that's pretty brutal," said Marie Sumlin, Nyeisha's mother.

Stabbed and left to die, the injuries so severe, that according to Sumlin, she was only able to identify her teenage daughter by the jewelry she was wearing.

"I miss her so much," Sumlin said as she cried. "I just do."

Nyeisha's killing is one of more than 1,000 cold cases Metro Police currently handles.

David Culver is the detective with the department's Cold Case Detail, the sole person left in the unit due to budget cuts.

"Just a few short years ago, we actually had nine solved in one year, so it's definitely possible," he said. "But it's all about time, money and resources."

A grant Metro received from the Department of Justice in 2010 has allowed Culver and Metro's forensics team to go back and review more than 500 cold cases for new DNA evidence, including that of Nyeisha's.

"The case is suspended pending the new testing and hopefully the lab issues report beneficial to the case and we are able to generate an investigative lead," Culver said.

Sumlin said she's staying strong with the help of her family, but said she hopes and prays everyday that the person who took the life of her youngest daughter will finally be caught.

"It's been a tough 11 years, but I pulled through, thanks to them," Sumlin said. "That's always important to that family to have that closure."

Culver said getting Nyeisha's story out there again could also generate new leads from the public, someone who may know something about this case but has never spoken out before.

To report information on this case, call CrimeStoppers at 702-385-5555 or visit its website.


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