Phoenix family seeking justice after teen was shot to death in January

Nearly a month has passed since a Phoenix teen was shot to death near 31st Avenue and Rose Lane, and his family is still desperate for answers surrounding his murder.

Phoenix Police are still searching for leads on a suspect, and loved ones said they are more than frustrated with the investigation.

Steven Baptisto-Mahle turned 16 years old before being shot and killed in the street, and his family fears the suspect will never be brought to justice.

"We just want justice for him. That's all we want," said his mother, Michelle Baptisto.

Michelle says her home is too quiet now. Steven isn't there to help with her groceries, play his video games of eat everything in the fridge.

For loved ones, they can only imagine the life he could have had.

"He was just like, 'Now I need to know, figure out what I'm gonna do with my life at 16 years old,' " said Alina Isaac, Steven's older sister.

On the night of Jan. 17, Steven was out with his friends. His mother never expected that she would be seeing him for the last time.

"He was playing his games," said Michelle. "He went to walk a friend home, I believe, and two of his friends came back and knocked on the door, and they said he got shot."

Just down the street, near 31st Avenue and Rose Lane, police found Steven laying on the ground with a gunshot wound. It took 20 minutes for paramedics to respond, according to his older sister Alina.

Steven died at the hospital.

Nearly a month later, Alina said she felt that her little brother's murder was being neglected.

"The first question the detective asked me [was], 'Does your brother sell drugs?' I'm like, 'What?' " Alina said.

With patience wearing thin and emotions running high, Steven's family is left with only his memory to keep alive.

"It's his presence I hear every day when talking to my mom," Alina said. "Now that he's gone...my mom cries every day."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. You can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash reward.

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