Family holds memorial for young mother killed by stray bullet on North Broadway

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A grieving North Knoxville family holding a special memorial Saturday night just two days before Jessie Roberts’ birthday.

Knoxville Police say Roberts was killed by a stray bullet in March of 2019 while sitting at the drive-thru of the Krystal along North broadway.

The birthday celebration was only missing one thing, the birthday girl.

“It’s just hard because she’s not here in person. You know, so we got to look at it as she’s here in spirit but it’s still not the same.”

Kierra Blakely – Jessie’s Best Friend

January 27 would have been Jessie Roberts’ 26th birthday. This is the first year her loved ones are having to celebrate her birthday without her.

With the investigation still unsolved, her family is struggling to cope.

“Not well at all. Not good. I mean, with having her son, that’s one of the reasons i get out of bed in the mornings. It’s because of him.”

Charlene Roberts – Jessies Mother

Life for the Roberts family has changed forever.

“One minute at a time. That’s all. I have breakdowns all through the day, not daily. I have a lot of good memories of her, but that’s all I have now is pictures and memories.”

Charlene Roberts

“It doesn’t even feel real. I really just try not to think of it sometimes because it’s definitely real. I can’t call her anymore. I can’t see her. But in a way, it’s like everything is gonna be okay because we have her child, and we got to make it be okay for him. We have to.”

Darlene Roberts – Jessie’s Sister

This celebration is helping to keep Jessie’s memory alive.

On Monday, Jessie’s family will be releasing balloons at her gravesite in honor of her birthday.

Meanwhile, the Knoxville Police Department tells us the investigation into her murder is active and open, and the department is investigating any and all leads.

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