19-year-old Ariyan Johnson and 20-year-old QuaSean Trotter had become inseparable after meeting in high school. Although young, the two were engaged and thrilled to be the parents of 11-month-old Arielle.
Ariyan’s cousin, Toussaint Stringfield, spoke about the couple’s maturity,
“Everybody loved them. Their relationship was something you could look up to because they were young and mature in their situation.”
The family of three lived in an apartment in Jacksonville, Florida. However, they spent the evening of December 12, 2017, at a friend’s house in Woodland Acres near the Arlington Expressway.
A fire was reported at the India Avenue residence around 8:30 PM. Firefighters arrived at the scene and realized a Christmas tree had been set on fire. Tragically, three bodies were in the home covered in soot.
Ariyan and QuaSean had been shot, while baby Arielle had a forehead injury and died of smoke inhalation. Authorities do not know what started the fire but believe the perpetrator(s) wanted to cover up their tracks.
A neighbor told Action News Jax he had heard gunshots that evening,
“It was about 6:30–7 o’clock, and I heard four rounds, four gunshots. [They were] really loud.”
There were no signs of forced entry at the house, and investigators believe Ariyan and QuaSean knew their ki*ller. A motive for the crime has not been established, but Ariyan’s family has mentioned the possibility of a robbery gone wrong.
The triple mur*der of the young couple and their infant daughter remains unsolved. Their families are not only struggling with their loss but also with the lack of justice. Ariyan’s mother, Yaisa Richardson, stated,
“All three of them, they didn’t deserve it. And especially my grand-baby. She wasn’t going to know anything. She couldn’t have known anything.
I know whoever did it is going to get caught. I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but I know they will get caught.”