Three years of grieving for Keya Simon, murder victim’s mother waiting for people to talk

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DARTMOUTH - Torina Simon’s bubbly grandson brings her plenty of joy, but the three-year-old is also a constant reminder of her daughter’s unsolved murder.

Torina Simon, left, and her husband Noel talk to Metro last January about the unsolved murder of their daughter Keya, who was killed in Dartmouth in January 2011.

“I see Key’vontay, and he looks just like her,” she said Sunday. “His eyes, his face…he looks exactly like his mother.”


Keya Simon, 19, died when she was stabbed during a party at her sister’s apartment on Pinecrest Drive on Jan. 8, 2011.


Simon’s daughter, Tiesha Allison, was stabbed during the same altercation – but so far police have not laid any charges in the case.


As the three-year anniversary of the murder approaches, Simon said she remains furious at Allison for not telling police what happened that night.


“She’s got the attitude of, who cares about Keya,” said Simon. “That’s what really keeps me away from her, because I want to put my hands around her neck and get myself in trouble.”


Simon said she’s routinely approached by people who try to tell her rumours about Keya’s death, and she routinely implores them to go to the police – to no avail.


She appealed to the 30 people who were at the party that night to give investigators the information that could lead to charges.


“You need to clear your conscience and stop trying to hide it,” she said. “You’re keeping a secret that could set somebody free or put them in jail.”


Although she remains committed to seeking justice for Keya, Simon said she has found ways to cope, reconnecting with her faith through a baptism last May.


She said the baptism helped her focus on raising three-year-old Key’vontay – and preparing to eventually tell him what happened to his mother.


“In order for me to give him the truth, I have to keep myself at peace, in spite of everything,” she said. “I don’t want it to come across angry, I don’t want him when he gets older to be angry at God.”


In the meantime, she said she’s learned to be grateful for the daughter who she remembers for her ebullient smile and constant phone calls – usually just to say, “I love you.”


“The last time I talked to her was 7:30 that night. She told me she loved me,” Simon said. “If I get upset, I think about that.”


Torina Simon says it’s been about two years since she’s heard any updates from detectives assigned to the murder of her daughter, Keya.


“There’s no sense calling them,” she said. “They’ve got no information, so why am I hurting myself more?”


Although Simon said she understands police need to build a case, she’s frustrated by the lack of activity, given that her daughter was stabbed at a party attended by 30 people.


In particular, Simon said police should focus on her other daughter – Keya’s half-sister, Tiesha Allison – who was stabbed in the same altercation as Keya.


“It’s up to the police to bring her in,” she said. “If not, there should be some kind of inquiry, because nothing’s been done.”

- by Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax

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