The family of a 13-year-old girl is speaking out after an arrest in her death. The teen’s body was found in the basement of an apartment complex in June and police say a 14-year-old boy is responsible.
The victim’s family says after speaking with prosecutors, they don’t feel like they’ll get justice even if there’s a conviction.
“She was a sweet girl coming into her own,” said Anna Boose, the grandmother of Zaniya Wright.
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Zaniya Wright, 13, loved fashion and animals. She was in track, liked gymnastics, and wanted to be a cheerleader. Her grandmother says Zaniya had so much left to see, to grow, to do.
“It’s still unreal at this point not to see her, not to talk to her,” said Boose. “Fortunately, I did talk to her maybe a few hours before she was taken away from me.”
Back in June, Zaniya’s mom reported her missing, and hours later, the middle schooler’s body was found in an apartment basement. On Friday, Manchester police charged a 14-year-old with felony murder, strangulation, sexual assault, and risk of injury to a minor.
After a meeting with law enforcement and prosecutors, the victim’s family says they were told because of the suspect’s age, if convicted, the time he would spend in jail would be minimal. It’s something Zaniya’s mom says is a slap in the face.
“It’s very disappointing. Very hard pill to swallow,” said Boose. “He can go on living his life. You know Zaniya, we can’t bring her back.”
Zaniya’s grandmother hopes that people remember her granddaughter, as they live day-to-day knowing they’ll never get to see the woman she would have become.
“My heart is breaking right now, really. So just pray for us,” said Boose.
NBC Connecticut is not identifying the suspect due to his age.