‘She was found in an alley’; Mother pleading for help after daughter gunned down in Richmond


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The search for answers continues after a Richmond woman was shot dead in an alley nearly two months ago. The victim’s mother is speaking out for the first time, pleading for help in finding her daughter’s killer.

28-year-old Sara Andrews was gunned down on Stockton Street in Richmond on Jan. 16.

“It just makes me sick inside. I cry every day for her,” sobbed Debbie Andrews, Sara’s mother.

Andrews’ world came crashing down on a Saturday night eight weeks ago when detectives showed up at her front door.

“I thought I was going to pass out,” Andrews explained. “I couldn’t breathe when he told me. It was like the life was sucked out of me when he told me Sara passed away. I just feel so bad and so sad.”

Andrews is living every parents worst nightmare and shares with 8News that her daughter’s ashes were sent to her last week.

“I love and miss my baby so much. They shipped her to me in this wooden urn box,” Andrews said as she held up the engraved box. “This is all I have left of Sara.”

Andrews has some of the ashes in a heart shaped necklace that she wears around her neck. Sara, a mother of five, was violently killed shortly before 9 p.m. on a Saturday night. Andrews says her daughter was shot in the head at point-blank range.

“She was found in an alley, all alone. It’s just awful,” cried Andrews.

Sara lived in Richmond for the past ten years, however her mother lives in Tampa, Florida. Andrews says the distance has her feeling helpless and she didn’t even get to say goodbye.

“It’s been hard because I’ve been wanting to come up there and see her, but they told me it was too graphic of a gunshot wound and it would be best not to,” Andrews told 8News. “There’s also COVID too.”

Andrews shared with 8News that her daughter endured a traumatic experience as a child that landed Sara’s father in prison. Since that incident, she suffered mental health issues and as Sara grew older she battled addiction. Andrews says her daughter was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder, and manic depressive disorder.

However, she goes on to say that Sara was clean for the last five months and taking her medication; a sign that she was turning her life around.

Andrews says she was proud that Sara’s life was changing and that she was trying to convince her daughter to move to Florida to be closer, but she loved Richmond.

Sara and her mother share the same birthday, Feb. 7. Andrews released balloons over a Florida beach in her honor last month.

Two months have now passed since the crime and no significant cracks in the case. Not being able to be in Richmond to physically push for justice, Andrews is hoping someone hears her plea 800 miles away and comes forward.

“I please hope and pray they come forward so we can have justice for Sara,” Andrews cried. “Please, please do that for me.”

Andrews say they are planning a service for Sara once COVID-19 slows down.

Richmond Police have not provided any new updates in the case, but if you have any information call Crime Stoppers at  (804) 780-1000.

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