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November 7, 2012

NOTES: What was said in the press conference


GREENVILLE — Lashonda SImpson, friend of family for 30 years:

"Me and Retha, the mother of Alicia, grew up together. We're like sisters. Alicia babysat my kids this past summer. My issue with the whole investigation is, as a social worker I worked at a children's runaway shelter for five years. When speaking with the chief and police on Monday, I explained to them that the criteria of a runaway, Alicia did not meet that criteria. I've seen many runaways and heard many stories, and it irritated me that was the first thing being thrown out. I think that is wrong and I feel like that was the reason the investigation was handled like that, because of her age.

"At some point in time, whether they ran away or were abducted, you do your job to bring that child home.

"She's not even your average 16-year-old. The first thing she would want to do is say, 'Hey, do you want to watch Nickelodeon or play video games?'

"Why would you come that close to home if someone was meeting you to pick you up?"

Cedric Fisher, very close friend to the family:

"I feel personally like they dropped the ball here. I think she met the criteria but the family was not taken seriously. That prolonging could have resulted in the death of a child.

"If it wasn't for Facebook, I wouldn't have known it happened. Nobody in the community really had an outreach or nothing to tell you it happened. Most of it started on Facebook."

"What you have to understand, where her body was found at, very few African Americans stay in that part of the county. It's bad.

"We have to protect our own communities. We're all our own eyes in our community and have to take care of our own children."

How confident are you that the GPD has done all they can in this case? "They might be doing as much as they can right now because it came to the death. Before that it was a slow process, but now because it's a murder they're doing the best they can do."


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