Dallas woman's murder spurs call for faster police response

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by JENNY DOREN

WFAA

Posted on June 28, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 28 at 6:34 PM

DALLAS — More than 50 people marched in Oak Cliff Saturday in hopes of solving a murder mystery.

They walked for miles, believing each step taken would bring them one step closer to finding out who killed D'Lisa Kelley.

“We're walking to where they found her," said Tonya Rose, the victim's cousin. “They found her here.”

Kelley, 24, was reported missing nearly four months ago. She left her grandmother’s house to attend a wake for a friend, but never showed up.

“It's hard to deal with,” admitted Kelley’s younger sister, Lashaun Steward. “I'm still dealing with it.”

Kelley’s family and friends paused for prayer on Saturday near the abandoned Oak Cliff home where she was found beaten and strangled. They said a faster police presence could have made a life-and-death difference.

“We think that the 72-hour wait time that's in is too long,” said Kelley Alert Foundation executive director Dominique Alexander.

A 911 call was placed on March 7 by Kelley’s grandmother. It was the same day Kelley’s sister said she got a disturbing call, in which she said she heard her sister screaming for her life in the background.

A Dallas Police Department detective was assigned to the case on March 9. Exactly one week after Kelley disappeared, she was discovered dead.

“Somebody knows something, and they just won't say nothing,” Rose said.

As she and dozens of other people look for justice, they’re putting pressure on lawmakers to sign a bill they say will save lives.

“If they pass the Kelley Alert, this will mean that if you get a disturbing phone call or something like that, [police] will react on it then,” Rose said. “They won't days later.”

“We can't bring D'Lisa back, but what we can do is make sure that she's that perfect sacrificial lamb that this don't happen again,” Alexander added.

A Dallas police sergeant was placed on administrative leave for his handling of Kelley's case, but he is now back on the job.

A police spokesman said the investigation continues.

E-mail jdoren@wfaa.com

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