PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK) – Neighbors in the Mound Park area of Portsmouth continue to grieve the tragic death of Zsailynn Conley, who was just four years old when he was shot and killed on his front porch.
“It was heartbreaking to the entire community,” says Karen Hill, the spokesperson for the Mound Park Neighborhood Watch group. “It really affected everybody.’
Portsmouth Police Chief Debby Brewer tells 13 News that, while no arrests have been made yet, the department has a person of interest in this case.
As this investigation continues, this community is still devastated and mourning Zsailynn.
“Chills go down your spine,” says neighbor Donna Arthur. “Hair raises up on the back of your neck to know that it’s so close, so, so close. Just right there, right around the corner.”
Having lived in the Mound Park area for more than 20 years, crime in the neighborhood isn’t new for neighbors Donna Arthur and Karen Hill.
“It kind of unsettles you that you won’t feel totally safe,” Arthur says. “You feel like anything can happen at any moment.”
Hill, who helped found the Mound Park Neighborhood Watch group, says safety is a major concern in this area, especially for parents.
“For children especially is what our concern is,” says Hill. “Also safety for the residents as far as people breaking in, breaking into cars.”
Neighbors say they won’t be able to rest until someone is behind bars.
“You can feel safe once they are either locked up or put away,” says Arthur. “Until that time, you always have that bleary feeling that someone could be lurking in the neighborhood watching you. You just don’t know.”
Chief Brewer says she has officers continuing to patrol the Mound Park area as much as possible and advises people to not walk this area after dark.