Unsolved murders leave Pittsburgh families heartbroken despite reward money being offered

PITTSBURGH — Two recent high profile murders have taken the lives of a pregnant woman and her unborn son, along with a Pittsburgh high school student.

Despite known witnesses and lofty rewards, the cases haven’t moved forward, leaving families heartbroken and mourning.

“As a community, we have to step forward to protect ourselves. If people don’t come forward, this will never end,” said former Penn State and NFL player Brandon Short.

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Short’s pregnant daughter, Karli, was gunned down and left to die on 25th Street in McKeesport. He told Channel 11 that some days, he doesn’t even believe what happened.

“She was excited to be a mother. She was five months pregnant. And she was taken away from us,” Short said.

The family is now offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of someone in the case. Short said he’s pledged to keep the tipster anonymous.

“I understand. I’m from McKeesport. I understand the culture of people not wanting to come forward, But this is a civilian, a good citizen,” he said.

“We’re going to continue to see young people dying on the street until we start holding hands and working together,” said Rashad Byrdsong.

Byrdsong’s grandson, Jafar Brooks, was murdered last December. His grandson’s friend and classmate, Steve Eason, was shot and killed at a haunted hayride several weeks ago.

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Despite the Eason family offering a “generous reward,” there have been no arrests in the case. Allegheny County Police are urging any witnesses to please call them.

“We can’t say people aren’t coming forward. We know about retaliation. People living in the community. There’s no type of security,” Byrdsong said.

He said he’s committed to ending the violence through investing in early childhood education and community resources.

He’s also pushing for police funding to go to investigations and crime labs.

In the meantime, both families continue to grieve and search for answers.

“I know somebody out there is listening and they’re struggling with what to do and they’re confused. We’ll do everything in our power to protect you,” Short said.