Friends and relatives of a slain pregnant mother from Dallas held a vigil Monday night and are asking neighbors to cooperate with police in solving her murder.
The Dallas Police Department said D'Lisa Kelley, a 24-year-old pregnant mother, was found dead Friday morning in an abandoned house in the 2100 block of Presidio Avenue.
Kelley had been missing for a week prior to police locating her body.
“We’re just trying to make it aware that we need to find justice,” said Kelley’s sister LaShaun Steward.
Alumni of A. Maceo Smith High School, where Kelley attended classes years ago, organized a 7:30pm Monday night candlelight vigil to draw attention to the crime and push for clues. A crowd of about 200 people gathered and lit candles in rememberance of Kelley.
“Me and D’Lisa went to school together, walked to school from kindergarten on, went to school, middle school and high school and I just thought it was fitting to be able to do that,” said her friend Dominique Alexander.
Much of the attention at the candlelight vigil turned to Kelley's son, Dunyae Dupree, 2, and how he may never remember how much his mother loved him.
"The good thing about it is he don't know what's going on right now," said Mayrian Moss, Kelley's aunt, who hugged the 2-year-old tight to her chest as she spoke. "The bad thing about it is when he grows up, the hard part comes in. When he gets older and gets to asking, 'Where's mom?' And we have to explain where's mom."
"We're gonna have to explain to him what happened and what's going on and where his mom is. So right now we're trying to stick together, stay strong for my sister, [Kelley's] mother and for him," Moss said.
The group “Justice Seekers” and its leader, Reverend Ronald Wright, also sponsored the vigil.
“We’ve got to stop the violence,” Wright said. “There can be no disparity in what we as African American get upset about and what we don’t. Violence is violence and we must stop the violence.”
Kelley last seen leaving a relative’s home in the 2700 block of Prosperity Avenue for a wake on the evening of March 7. After she left, one of her sisters, LaShaun Steward, received an alarming phone call.
Steward said Kelley could be heard screaming for help in the call and a male voice was heard telling her to shut up.
Steward said Dallas police initially treated the case as a missing person and investigators did not visit in person when her family reported the alarming call.
Wright, who is a frequent critic of Dallas police, said he is disappointed investigators did not respond immediately. But he is asking other ministers to rally the South Oak Cliff community of Dallas to cooperate with police to solve this case.
“At the end of the day, it’s still about us stopping the violence among ourselves, and whoever knows who did this, they need to call the police department,” Wright said.
NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.