Group rallies for answers from police on shooting victim's 22nd birthday

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 22 2013 6:00 p.m. MST

The hardest part, Kennedy said, was not receiving any new information about the case since November. "Absolutely nothing, which is incredibly frustrating."

Likewise, Harrison said she has only collected tidbits of information from non-law enforcement sources. She believes that someone prompted Willard to go to the apartment complex that day.

"I have no idea why she would be there. She was at work and left to put money down on an apartment, so that would be my best guess. But I didn't talk to her that day."

Harrison also said Willard was having problems with people who were crashing at her apartment and not leaving, and she had called the police at least four times in the week leading up to her death to report that her car was stolen and her apartment had been burglarized.

"(Police) knew her. They knew she wasn't dangerous, they knew she wasn't armed," Harrison said.

West Valley police released a short, prepared statement Tuesday, asking for the family's "indulgence in understanding that in order for us to complete an exhaustive investigation and to maintain the integrity of that investigation, the team of investigators must move through all of the evidence in a methodical way. This effort requires patience and commitment from all parties."

West Valley Deputy Police Chief Mike Powell said it is impossible to put a time frame on how long it will take to complete the investigation.

As she stood in front of City Hall in the bone chilling cold temperatures on Tuesday, Kennedy said she remembered a time when Willard took a psychiatry class in high school and came home one day to tell her mother that she figured out why she kept making mistakes: It was because her frontal lobe wouldn't be fully developed until she was 21.

"Only Danielle would come up with something like that," her mother said. "And as I was thinking about this I was thinking, 'I will never know her as an adult. I will never know her as a mother, or a wife, or a grownup. She will always be a child and they took that away from me.'"

At Tuesday's rally, friends and family members also passed out fliers — one side written in English and the other in Spanish — asking any witness to the shooting to call a toll free tip line, 855-958-7842, a number that goes to Kennedy's attorney in California. All callers can remain confidential, she said.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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