‘You didn’t deserve it’: 16-year-old killed at Independence home, leaving family devastated


INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — It’s a gut-wrenching reality for the family of 16-year-old Mariah Franklin, who was shot to death inside her Independence home Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m so sorry, and I love you so much,” said Nautica Wiggins, Franklin’s sister. “I’m just so sorry. I wish I could bring you back to life.”

Wiggins said ever since her younger sister was born, they’ve been attached at the hip.

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“She always just wanted to hang out with me,” Wiggin said. “She wanted to be just like me.”

The two worked together at Home Depot, hung out all the time and had an inseparable bond.

Mariah Franklin

“She was just a big impact in every way,” Wiggins said. “I just can’t believe it.”

But now Wiggins will never be able to share another memory with her baby sister after someone shot Franklin to death.

Independence police said it happened on S. Crescent Avenue in a neighborhood not far from 23rd Street and Blue Ridge Boulevard. The killer is still on the run.

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“You didn’t deserve for it to go down like this,” Wiggins said. “You didn’t deserve it. My poor baby.”

Wiggins said Franklin and her mom were headed to the store when Franklin went back in the house to get some cash — but never came back out.

When their mom went inside to check on her, she saw Franklin’s body.

“Why would you do that to that poor baby? Wiggins said. “She was 16. She didn’t do nothing to nobody.”

Franklin’s murder remains unsolved, and her family wants the violence to stop.

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“It’s just so brutal, man,” Wiggins said. “You kill them in cold blood. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Y’all don’t even be having a good reason. It isn’t no reason to kill somebody.”

Family members said they want to give Franklin the funeral she deserves, so they’ve set up a GoFundMe account and are also accepting donations on by CashApp at $nauticaskyee.


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