Unsolved one year later: Two Savannah murder cases involving children

Unsolved one year later: two Savannah murder cases involving children

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Just over a year has passed since two separate shootings took the lives of two children in Savannah.

2-year-old Kiki Smalls and 12-year-old Keith Passmore were killed about a week apart, and those cases are still unsolved.

The executive director of CrimeStoppers in Chatham County said many people have come forward with tips, but none have been that catalyst that's led to an arrest.

"No arrest is ever made just on a CrimeStopper tip. It has to be validated, it has to be researched heavily, it has to be able to make a case," said Executive Director Dodie Gay, of Savannah Chatham CrimeStoppers.

Last November, 2-year-old Kiaja "Kiki" Smalls was asleep inside her family's Hampstead Oaks Apartment when shots were fired at the building, several of those bullets hitting and killing her. Police believe the apartment was targeted.

And about a week later in a separate shooting, 12-year-old Keith Passmore was sitting in a vehicle outside a Vicksburg Drive home when someone walked up and fired at Passmore and the driver after demanding they open the door. Passmore later died.

With gun violence often involving young people over the past year, some like Christopher Batiste are still questioning if the community is a safe place for children like his two nephews to grow up in.

Batiste said, "At this moment, it's up in the air. I can honestly say that. And coming from that standpoint, I want to say yes, but at the same time I'm going to say no, because it really depends on what part of the city you're in."

While police can't comment on the Passmore and Smalls cases because they're ongoing investigations, we did ask Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Chief Jack Lumpkin if the public is cooperating more with investigators in unsolved crime.

"I think information is flowing better than it was twelve months ago. I don't think it's anywhere near where it needs to be. There is still a significant 'snitch' mentality within this community, that we as a community must defeat," Lumpkin said.

And Savannah Chatham CrimeStoppers said sometimes something as simple as watching a news story, can jog the memory of a potential witness who has vital information that can shed light on crimes like the murder of 2-year-old Kiki Smalls and 12-year-old Keith Passmore.

Gay said, "It's with the help of the media that triggers the memory of many of our crime scene witnesses, when sometimes they didn't know they witnessed a crime."

As always, if you know anything about either of these murders, CrimeStoppers is waiting for your call 912.234.2020. To visit the CrimeStoppers website, click here.

Copyright 2015 WTOC. All rights reserved.