|Updated: 9/24/2012 10:49 am
||Published: 9/23/2012 7:32 pm
Two boys are without a mother, and an entire family is grieving over the murder of 29-year-old Akiya Egeston.
North Little Rock Police say three suspects robbed the EZ Mart on MacArthur Drive Saturday night just after 9 o'clock and shot the clerk, Akiya Egeston.
North Little Rock and Jacksonville Police are now working together to catch three suspects involved in that robbery, plus a similar incident that happened hours later at the Citgo gas station on Marshall Road. North Little Rock Police say surveillance pictures from both convenience stores show it could be the same suspect involved in both crimes.
Maria Currie sits in her daughter's apartment looking through family pictures. She says she's frustrated, angry, and wants answers to why someone would kill her daughter. "She was a real friendly person. Anywhere she went, anyone she met, she was so caring."
Currie says she doesn't understand how someone could be so cruel. "To rob her and then go back and shoot her. They could have just gone on about their business."
Jacksonville Police say just hours later, around 2 o’clock in the morning, a man robbed the Citgo gas station on Marshall Road, threatening to shoot the clerk. This time the clerk was able to get away.
Julie Taylor is the Citgo Manager, and says the store has never been robbed before, and her clerk was lucky. "She just ran. She just ran. That's good she's safe."
Currie says she's glad the Citgo clerk is OK, because that situation could have easily ended the way it went with her daughter.
North Little Rock and Jacksonville Police are still investigating both crimes, but Sgt. Brian Dedrick with the North Little Rock Police says pictures from both stores are huge clues. "We are comparing pictures and we see very close, a lot of similarities. I don't want to say 100%, but the pictures are very close. We do think they're going to be connected."
Currie says she's trying to be strong for Akiya's two little boys and the rest of the family.
"All we ask is that someone has a heart and just calls in and tells something." She says the family is leaning on each other for support, but they just can't understand why this happened. "All I want to know is who did this to my daughter. We want justice."
Anyone with any information about either crime is asked to call police. EZ Mart is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects, and is taking up a collection to help Currie make funeral arrangements for her daughter.
Currie says, Akiya's boys are 9 and 6 years old, and are having a tough time understanding what happened to their mother.