1 year later, Machole Stewart's family still searching for answe - KCTV5

1 year later, Machole Stewart's family still searching for answers as police search for killer

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

It's been almost a year since a drive-by shooting killed a 10-year-old girl who was at home watching the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.

“I feel like this is the closest I can get to her,” said Krystal Stewart, pointing to the t-shirt she was wearing, showing a photograph of her granddaughter, Machole Stewart.

It’s a tough time for Stewart. With Halloween decorations up and the Royals in post-season play, all are reminders of a lovely and lively little girl taken too soon.

“I will never hear her voice again. I’ll never get to play in that long pretty hair. Will never get to see all the kids at the back door waiting on her,” Stewart said, her eyes filled with tears. “I wake up in the morning and I talk to her picture in the morning time. I just wish I could bring her back.”

Machole was killed during a drive-by shooting at her mother’s house in the 1400 block of New Jersey Avenue in Kansas City, KS on October 26, 2014.  Stewart said Machole’s brother saw who did it and fired back. The house has been shot up three times since, she said, but the crime remains unsolved.

“People sitting around and they know what happened and nobody wants to come forward and tell anything,” said Stewart. “I’m just to the point where I have so much anger inside me that I feel like at time that I’m just about to explode, and that’s not me.”

Machole's father was in prison when she was killed. He began his 11-year sentence before she was born. Machole, known by many by the nickname “Coco,” visited regularly and became a welcome bright spot for other inmates. Her father had less than two months left on his sentence when he found out she was killed. A fellow inmate chrocheted a heart-shaped pillow for him in her favorite colors: pink and purple. On Saturday those colors will be on display again when her drill team competes in their biggest performance of the year.

Machole was the junior squad leader for the Gateway Highsteppers. Every year in October they host a nationwide competition at Kansas City, KS, Community College. This year they will take a break to present Machole’s uniform to her family and retire her number.

“Believe me, she was one of a kind. I mean that witty personality and that little smart mouth, there’s no replacing it,” said Levita Davis, the director of the Gateway Highsteppers. “That was one child that would challenge me and possibly, a lot of the times, she was right. I miss her an awful lot.”

It’s a gesture that won’t bring back Machole or catch her killer, but it gives Stewart comfort to be reminded that, long after the high-profile public outpouring has faded, Machole’s special spirit still sticks with those who got to experience it in person.

“It’s nice to know that people are still thinking about her,” Stewart said.

The “Squad on Fleek” Drill Team Competition begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Kansas City Kansas Community College. Admission is $8.

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