GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Family and friends gathered at the scene of an apparent hit and run that left a Greenville teen dead.
The Greenville Police Department confirmed 13-year-old Jaquile Jackson was the victim found lying in a ditch Monday morning on MacGregor Downs Road.
Jackson’s family, including his aunt Chinetta Pippen, gathered near where his body was found to release red balloons into the air and say words in commemoration of him.
“Justice for Junior! Long live Junior!” those at the vigil said.
Part of me didn’t want to take people there, but then the other part of me feel like they need to see that spot,” Pippen said. “Other people need to see that spot so they know this is where a child was left for dead in a ditch... like people need to feel what we felt.”
Pippen says her nephew was last seen playing a game at his home off of Moyewood Drive at about 10 p.m. when without warning, he left home on a scooter with a phone. Pippen believes he was heading to see a friend who lives near MacGregor Downs Road on his first night of spring break.
“Whenever he felt some type of way he used to leave. He’s a teenager,” Pippen said.
“But he never left and went a long ways,” Lisa Artis, Jackson’s grandmother added. “He’s never done that.”
Police found Jackson’s body and a scooter two miles away from his home on MacGregor Downs Road the next morning.
Jackson’s family said he had a history of diagnosed mental illness. They hope to share his story to help other kids and prevent families from dealing with a similar tragic loss.
Pippen and the rest of Jackson’s loved ones also want to advocate for safer streets with proper lighting and speed monitoring, especially where there are a lot of kids.
The person responsible for the apparent hit and run has not yet been found.
“We have to do better as a community,” Pippen said. “Not only that, I know somebody has seen something, I know somebody heard something. They need to talk.”
Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call police at 252-702-4032 or Crime Stoppers at 252-758-7777.