ATLANTA - A 9-year-old boy woke up to find his grandmother dead in their living room on New Year’s Day.
Police say Julia McTure, 47, was strangled in her northwest Atlanta apartment on Hollywood Road on Saturday night as her grandson, Maurice Weems, slept in a nearby room.
Maurice found her early the next morning and ran for help.
“He was there but in another room when it occurred. He woke up to go to the bathroom and found his grandmother on the floor and he couldn't wake her up,” Atlanta police Maj. Adam Lee said.
Lee says they have several suspects, but also made a plea to the community where McTure lived for years, where the major says she was well-known and beloved.
“Anyone that knows any information that information is totally anonymous. We won’t be using your name or ask you to testify," Lee said.
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McTure’s family had the same plea.
“You know what you did. Do the right thing. Turn yourself in. My sister deserves justice,” McTure’s sister, Danise Bailey, said.
Maurice’s mother, Shanterria Weems, said she had recently reconnected with her mother.
“We had our ups and downs but we had gotten so close and I just can't believe she's gone. I had just seen her,” Weems said.
McTure left behind three children and several grandchildren, including Maurice, who she was taking care of at the time. Neighbors said the two were always together.
While interviewing the family, Maurice told Channel 2's Liz Artz that he wanted to tell her about his grandmom.
“She always cooked me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” Maurice said. “She sat on the porch and watched me play.”
The family says their efforts are now focused on finding her killer and making sure Maurice is going to be OK.
“The family love we have, we can be there for him to get through the difficult times,” Bailey said.
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