Stolo Street

A young girl. A stolen pickup. A tragedy on Evans Avenue.

"I was in the back barbecuing," Shirley claims. "But I heard the commotion. I heard my grandson say, 'You know I ain't stole no truck.' They was fighting over a truck or car -- you know how young kids steal stuff." And she alleges that one of Ketrease's relatives said, "I know you ain't hit my sister, but somebody said you stole my truck."

While she's talking, Kimberly picks up another phone extension and shrieks for her mother to hang up. Before Shirley complies, she explains that her daughter is "going through a lot."

She's not the only one. The Murphys left the neighborhood because when they'd come home they had to face the graphic reminders of their daughter's death: Ketrease's neck brace had been discarded in the vacant lot, the green paint tracing her small mangled body on the grass faded too slowly and the mess of a chain-link fence that had been at the front of the house before the truck mowed it down lay heaped in the lot next door.

Cortez Murphy acknowledges that after the accident his son went over to "confront the person that was supposed to did it. But anybody whose brother or sister got hurt" would've done the same, he says. Murphy dismisses Shirley Nash's claim that there was an unrelated dispute over a stolen car. His son doesn't have a car, he says, and isn't even old enough to drive.

And then there's Annalyn.

About a month after the accident, she's sitting on a couch in a family friend's home. The smell of urine from an unchanged diaper hangs in the air. Iron bars cover the windows.

"Every time I go to sleep, I be dreamin' about her," Annalyn says.

Annalyn wants to know if Dominick's out of jail. No, he isn't. "Is he gonna be there for life?" she asks.

She wants to talk about an argument she had with a boy she says is related to Dominick. He was laughing about Ketrease and called her a "dead, dumb girl."

"I said she ain't dumb or dead, her soul is listening to you."

"Forget her soul," he replied.

But Annalyn can't. She lives in a neighborhood that has spun out of control, too. So the child who plays on the street as stolos speed by fired back a furious reply: "Her soul will come up in your dreams and kill you."

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