Putting up the Christmas tree was heartbreaking for Peggy Davis this year.
Her 24-year-old son, Narobia, always put the topper on the tree.
He wasn't there to do it this year.
Narobia, “Roby” to his family and friends, was one of the 166 murders recorded in Dallas in 2017.
His case is unsolved.
“I don't think a mother will ever have full peace when they lose their child especially in the senseless way like that,” Davis said during an interview New Year's Day. “The memories that I had with him will never will go away.”
Dallas' 2017 murder tally was down slightly from last year when the city saw 171 people killed. It was still significantly more than the 136 murders recorded in 2015.
The city's clearance for its homicide detectives was significantly better this year, topping 70 percent. Last year, the city's homicide clearance rate was 49 percent.
Last year, the city's then-interim police Chief David Pughes blamed witnesses being unwilling to come forward for the city's low clearance rate.
But police sources familiar with last year's low clearance rate largely blame it on detectives and supervisors being forced to work in patrol for periods of time, taking their attention away from working their cases. Those sources say the situation improved drastically once homicide detectives were no longer required to do back-to-patrol stints.
Behind this year's high clearance rates are cases like Narobia Davis.
He was killed during a robbery on May 27 on Easter Avenue in Oak Cliff. He and his cousin were in a car near a relative's house when it happened.
He was the eldest of Peggy Davis' three children.
The family moved to Dallas from New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. He played football at Roosevelt High School graduating in 2012. He attended college for a year and was working at a supermarket. He'd enrolled to return to college at the time of his death.
His daughter, Niri, was just five months old when he died. She's a year old now. They constantly show her pictures and videos of him to keep his memory alive.
“It's a blessing to have a piece of him,” she says. “It is truly an amazing blessing to have her to look at and say I still have him.”
This year, she waited until it was nearly Christmas to put up a tree. Her son had wanted to decorate it in New Orleans Saints colors, but she couldn't find a black and gold fleur de lis. Instead, she decorated it in a Mardi Gras theme.
She kept a life-size poster of her son standing next to the tree.
“He was still a part of our Christmas,” she says.
As a mother, she agonizes over his final moments.
“I want to know what was his last words,” she says. “I wanted to give him a hug. I just want to make sure that he didn't suffer for long.”
Her greatest wish for this New Year is to know who killed her son and see them brought to justice.
“You never want to bury your child,” she says. “It's supposed to be the other way around.”
Anyone with information regarding this murder is encouraged to contact Homicide Detective Montenegro at 214-671-3624 or firstname.lastname@example.org This offense is documented on case number 118952-2017.
Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information called into Crime Stoppers that leads to the arrest and indictment for this felony offense and other felony offenses. Call Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-TIPS.