A family is pleading for justice on a somber anniversary. Atlantic City authorities are looking to develop new leads in a 10-year-old cold case mu*rder. The victim was a beloved grandmother, 61-year-old Joyce McKinnon, who was gunned down inside her own home on Dec. 11, 2009.
“My mom was my world,” Veronica Grant-Rooks said.
Ten years ago, Grant-Rooks heard a bang and then saw a van speed away before she called 911. A gunman had just gone to her mom’s first-floor bedroom window and fired a single shot through the glass.
“She just came home from work. Ten minutes later, you hear the gunshot,” Grant-Rooks said. “The police and ambulance started pulling up and we knew she was deceased from that point.”
McKinnon was a career casino cocktail waitress that family says didn’t have an enemy in the world. She never got to meet several of her grandchildren.
“It’s very hard around the holidays as you know. My mother was buried Dec. 22 and it’s touchy for me in December,” Grant-Rooks said. “I don’t celebrate anything.”
Ten years later, her d*eath still causes anger and confusion.
“I miss her so much and all these years, nothing is done. Absolutely nothing,” Helen Middleton, McKinnon’s aunt, said. “Why can’t they find who done this?”
To mark the 10-year anniversary of McKinnon’s d*eath, Atlantic City Prosecutor Damon Tyner visited McKinnon’s family and assured them the investigation is still getting attention.
“When you’re in the confines of your own home, that is your sanctuary. For someone to violate that and to take a life for no reason at all, it’s of the highest priorities for this administration,” Tyner said.
Family says the alleged ki*ller is known in the community, but people are afraid to share information with the police for fear of retaliation.
“A lot of people today, you know they just don’t want to be involved,” Grant-Rooks said.
For Grant-Rooks, having closure would mean the world.
Meanwhile, her family tries their best to keep McKinnon’s memory alive.
“This is my corner. Having the street named after her is something that I’m very proud of,” Grant-Rooks said.
The 1900 block of North Michigan Avenue in Atlantic City is now officially named Joyce J. McKinnon Place.
Her family is also working on creating a nonprofit transition home for troubled youth.
“I’m trying to give back to the community in my mother’s name,” Grant-Rooks said.