Family Still Seeking Answers in Daughter's Overtown Death After Suspect Released

"It's a hole in our hearts," Andresa Prater said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Andresa Prater's living room is surrounded with pictures of her daughter, Michelle Coleman, who never came home after she was gunned down at an Overtown block party four years ago. She and her daughter Dominique spoke about the case after the release of the lone suspect, Rodney Miller. (Published Friday, Aug 9, 2013)

    Andresa Prater's living room is surrounded with pictures of her daughter, Michelle Coleman, who never came home after she was gunned down at an Overtown block party four years ago.

    "It's a hole in our hearts," Prater said.

    She said that hole grew larger last month, after the lone suspect in her daughter's case, Rodney Miller, was released. Prater told NBC 6 that the State Attorney's Office told her family they did not have enough evidence to make pursue a case, even though Miller had been in custody for nearly four years.

    NBC 6 reached out to the State Attorney's Office for comment, and is awaiting a response.

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    Back in August 2009, Miller was arrested in connection to the murders of Coleman and 17-year-old Anthony Smith. Miller, who was 18 at the time, was charged with two counts of murder with a deadly weapon.

    Ten other people were shot and wounded at Overtown party on July 9, 2009. Coleman's sister, Dominique Prater, was there and heard the gunfire.

    "They stopped for awhile, for, like, 5 seconds, and it started back," she said.

    Three days before Miller's release, Andresa Prater said she got the heartbreaking news from the State Attorney's Office.

    "She told us that, they wasn't charging him they were letting him go," Prater said.

    "They didn't have enough evidence," added her daughter, Dominique.

    Prater said officials told her Miller's phone calls and actions would be watched while he was behind bars, in case he gave a break in the case, but he never did.

    "It's pain in our hearts," Prater said choking back tears. "When birthdays come, when Mother's Day comes, I'm thinking, 'She would have been a mother.'"

    Just before her death, Coleman, a 21-year-old FAMU nursing student, had just found out she was pregnant.

    Her family is urging anyone with information that could solve the case to Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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