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Poster offering reward for information on the death of Joette ‘JoJo’ Malone

FBI puts up $10,000 reward for info on death of 'JoJo'

Contributed By:The 411 News

Hammond Police: Someone has information on the homicide and we want them to come forward

Very shy and barely audible, even with a microphone, Ronnica Taylor spoke at the Thursday morning press conference at the Hammond Police Dept to help in the search for the person who caused the death of her 2 year-old daughter Joette 'JoJo' Malone

"I would appreciate if anyone could come forward with information to bring in the person who killed my baby," Taylor said. "It's real hard; I miss her every day."

Taylor and her 3 children, including Joette, were in Taylor's vehicle and caught in the crossfire of gunshots exchanged between individuals on July 29th in the parking lot of the Kennedy Crossings Apartments, 3300 Craig Avenue. The other two children in the vehicle were a newborn and a four year-old.

Taylor lives in Gary and was visiting a friend at the apartment complex. Hammond Police responded to the call of shots fired at 9:30pm.

None of the other children or Taylor was hit by the gunshots that entered the vehicle's rear passenger area. Suffering from head wounds, Joette was transferred from a local Hammond hospital to a children's hospital in Chicago where she died a few days later.

Standing with Taylor were agents from the FBI to announce a reward, up to $10,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the people responsible for Joette's death.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge Danny Youmara, from FBI Indianapolis, said the FBI's Gang Response Investigative team is working shoulder to shoulder with the Hammond Police. "I urge anyone who may have seen or heard something to step forward and share that information with us."

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter asked the public, "If you know something, no matter how insignificant you think it may be, say something." Carter said even small bits of information can help put pieces together. "What we're looking for is justice for this family."

Hammond Police Det. Captain Ezequiel Hinojosa said the community has provided information. "Kennedy Crossing residents have been receptive with our investigation and the amount of effort we are putting into this case."

Det. Ezequiel said, "We know that someone is out there who has information and we want them to come forward. If this was an accidental shooting, I hope the person would come in on their own or with an attorney. We need you to come forward."

Anyone with information related to Joette's death can contact Hammond Police Lt. Mark Tharp at (219) 852-2988, the FBI's Indianapolis Field Office at (317) 595-4000, or submit tips online at

L-r, Danny Youmara, Bernard Carter, Hammond Police Public Information Officer Steve Kellogg, Ronnica Taylor, and Ezequiel Hinojosa

Story Posted:08/13/2020

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