Family seaching for answers five years after 21-year-old mother shot & killed

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Posted at 5:51 AM, Jul 09, 2024

NOVI (WXYZ) — Half a decade ago, a Novi mother lost her daughter and an infant lost his mother, all in the blink of an eye.

In 2019, Tia Lanea Joe was brutally murdered in her bedroom, as she and her 6 month old son slept. The baby was also shot and critically injured, but police haven’t made any arrests since that horrific night. Her family talked with 7 News Detroit and is pleading for answers, and closure because the case and the wounds left behind are both still open.

Christmas 2018 was the first and last Tia Lanea Joe got to spend with her then 6-month-old son Braxton. Just four months later, the she was killed in her own home. Her mother, Trina Bennett woke up to that nightmare.

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“It was April 7, 2019. I woke up to gunshots,” Trina said. She added, “once I jumped out of my bed, my house had smoke, like gunpowder.

Trina, her daughter Tia, and Tia’s son Braxton lived together in Novi’s Oakland Glens trailer park. Trina says she ran to her daughter’s room that night.

“I heard Braxton crying. When I got to her room I couldn’t get in the room.” Trina added, “I ran putside screaming help help.”

Tia’s body blocked the door. A bullet pierced her baby’s 6-month-old body. Responders rushed baby Braxton to an ambulance and then to Providence Park hospital. They airlifted him to the University of Michigan, where he spent his 7th and 8th months on Earth, in a medically induced coma.

“He stayed sedated like almost 2 months. I stayed right by his side i lost my job and everything,” Trina said. She continued, "Braxton wasn’t discharged until the end of July. I was supposed to go back to work in the beginning of July.”

Now Trina and her fiancé Lamont are raising Braxton.

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"He keeps us busy," Lamont said. "Well into our 50’s taking care os this rascal is a blessing. I wouldn’t trade it for the world."

Braxton is five now. He carries the grief and trauma with him, every step he takes.

“In the hospital blood clots set up on the left side and that left him with footdrop,” explained Trina. "He’s had two surgeries to try to correct that but his nerve doctor said he’ll probably have more. more surgeries.”

In the five years since Tia’s murder, Novi police say they've chased down every lead and are exploring all possibilities.

“They said that they had leads but all the leads that they had they had no evidence to bring these people in or they had alibis saying where they were and then the last thing I heard from the officer that it was a hired hit," Trina said.

Tia’s family is keeping her spirit alive, and say they feel her presence every birthday and holiday that passed. They’re also praying that someone helps them heal by shedding light on who took Tia’s life.

Watch our story from last year: Novi woman's unsolved murder leads to family's plea for help identifying a killer

Novi woman's unsolved murder leads to family's plea for help identifying a killer

“Just so I can have closure. We can have closure,” said Trina.

Anyone with information on Tia Lanea Joe’s murder,call Novi policeor leave an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at its website or call 1-800-SPEAK-UP.