Gulfport neighbors remember death of Janaya Thompson 1 year later
Thursday will mark the one year anniversary of the disappearance and murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
Thursday will mark the one year anniversary of a day that many in the Gulfport community can't forget; the disappearance and murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson.
The neighborhood is quiet again and there's even a couple now living in the trailer where Janaya's body was found. Beneath the quiet, neighbors say the memory of what happened is still a nightmare.
"You know, people may not talk about it every day or think about it, but when you're passing here or if you step outside, you're going to think about it. I just get emotional talking about it. That's why I'm not even looking over there," one neighbor said.
The neighbor, who didn't want to go on camera, said the once abandoned trailer should have been torn down, but there is now a family that lives there.
"To know that people now stay there, and I'm sure they know what went on, that a tragic death took place in there. It does something to me," the woman said.
I knocked on the door to see if anyone was home. A woman answered, but didn't want to go on camera. She said she was aware of what happened, and her heart goes out to the family.
"Why live here," I asked.
"My husband and I needed a place to stay and with the money we had it just worked out," the woman said.
Kristy Jones says Janaya's murder is a constant memory that affects her family every day. "My kids still don't come out after dark really. My daughter doesn't walk at all anymore," Jones said.
Jones said she doesn't like that her once quiet neighborhood has turned into an uncomfortable place to live.
"I don't like it at all. They should at least be able to come outside at night, you know, and be able to walk around on their own street right here, and be comfortable and she doesn't. I don't like that at all," said Jones.
These neighbors say they won't forget the beautiful life that was lost.
"I know it's a beautiful day outside and she's probably looking down on us right now, smiling," a neighbor said with a smile.
As of now, the only person charged in connection with Janaya's death is Alberto Garcia.