DEKALB COUNTY. Ga. (CBS46) – For the family of Honey Malone, the details surrounding her murder just don’t add up.
The 18-year-old was shot at close range in the doorway of her friend’s apartment. DeKalb County police said Honey was at the wrong place at the wrong time – she’d interrupted a botched armed robbery, a drug deal gone bad.
But seven years later, her mom Flora Malone and sister, Cassaundra Kennedy still don’t buy it. And neither does CBS46 crime scene investigator, Sheryl ‘Mac’ McCollum.
“Here’s my problem with that. They didn’t get any drugs out of the apartment. Nobody’s money was taken. The only thing stolen in that apartment was Honey’s phone,” she said.
CSI Atlanta recently met with DeKalb police to discuss forensic testing that could help identify suspects.
“They agreed that the clothing that she was wearing they're going to send back to GBI for additional testing as well as some of the shell casings that were found at the scene,” said Mac. “It's a different day. Re-test it.”
While the family waits for results, frustration festers.
“They drug a trail of blood of my sister on the carpet. And put her in the closet. You don't take the time to do that if it was just a random robbery. That's not a thing,” Kennedy said.
That Tuesday night in October, Honey told her mom, Flora she was going out for a little bit. She regularly hung out a friend’s nearby apartment – playing spades, laughing and chilling.
Mac took CSI Atlanta back to the crime scene and showed the brush path Honey would often cut through to get there.
Less than 30 minutes later, Flora said she heard a loud noise.
“Sounded like gunshots or firecrackers or something. I called her and she wasn't answering her phone,” she said.
It would be another three excruciating hours before police confirmed it was indeed Honey. She was found in a bedroom closet shot once in the back and again in her chest.
“We're talking about grown people that have weapons in the apartment and she was the least of the threat and she was the one murdered?,” said Kennedy. “I just, I can't wrap my head around that.”
According to police, Honey surprised the robbers arriving while they ransacked the apartment.
An unknown number of masked men carrying guns had kicked in the door and tied up her two friends – a man and a woman – in the bathroom.
But why was honey the only one harmed?
“No one was pistol-whipped. Nobody was stabbed. Nobody was hurt,” Kennedy said.
Honey’s family believes her friends truly know what happened and possibly played a part in her death.
Police remain tight-lipped about the investigation.
“I get that they're working. And I know that they're understaffed and I know they have things. But my sister is very important and we need answers,” she said.
Honey’s family has been fighting for years for the release of the 911 call from that fateful night. CSI Atlanta is joining them in pushing for access that could lead to new clues in this case.