Family looking for answers in young mom's death

Posted at 3:14 PM, Apr 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-10 23:16:10-04

CINCINNATI -- One week after she was found, police were able to identify the young mother who was found dead in a South Fairmount driveway.

The family of Shatevia Nelson contacted police to identify the 21-year-old, Cincinnati police said Saturday. Now, they're asking for help finding out how she died.

Police have still not released a cause of death, but they began a suspicious death investigation after finding the body in a driveway in the 1500 block of Knox Street.

Family members said they suspected foul play in Nelson's death.

"They hurt her, enough to kill her," cousin Tanya Hurt said. "So there's a killer out there."

Police released information about a key chain found with Nelson's body and also produced a sketch of the young woman in hopes that someone could identify her. Family members realized it was her.

Nelson was the mother of a 5-year-old girl. Family members said she was nicknamed "Bhudda" because of her kind, peaceful and positive nature.

"What are we to tell her daughter?" cousin Melanie Jones asked. "How do we explain to her that her mother's never coming back?"

Nelson's friend, Carissa Washington, described her as a mother with a "lovable" personality.

"She was outgoing," Washington said. "She loved life."

The investigation into Nelson's death is ongoing; anyone with information is asked to call Cincinnati Police's Criminal Investigations Section at 513-352-3542 or the Hamilton County Coroner's Office at 513-946-8700. Callers may remain anonymous.

Washington also set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of Nelson's funeral.

"Please give us help," Washington said. "People said they saw her downtown, and next thing you know, she's ending up missing and dead. It's a bad feeling."

Nelson's family members said the best gift would be closure.

"We all know the no-snitching rule," Jones said. "But she has family. At the end of the day, if it was your family member, you would want justice."