ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Police are still searching for a suspect that shot and killed a 24-year-old woman early Sunday morning.
Salonya Evans, of Roanoke, was found dead in the 900 block of Morehead Avenue SE just after 1 a.m. according to Roanoke City Police Department.
Some heartbroken neighbors voiced concerns over the time the body was on the scene and the body’s visibility to the public.
Roanoke City Police Department responded saying they have set protocols to preserve and collect all available evidence on a crime scene.
“We do everything we can to treat victims with the utmost respect while following those protocols,” Roanoke City Police Department’s statement said, “We work as efficiently as possible given a number of circumstances that are always changing. Furthermore, the body cannot be moved until released by the Medical Examiner’s Office.”
Authorities have not released further information on the investigation.
Evans leaves behind a four-year-old daughter, whose fifth birthday party is on Saturday.
“We’re going from planning a birthday party on Saturday to trying to plan a funeral for her mother, ” Bishop Jamaal Jackson, Salonya’s Pastor, said, “It’s just not fair! We shouldn’t be having to deal with this right now. But we are. And we’re looking for peace for this family.”
Jackson said he is speaking on behalf of the family because they are asking for privacy at this time.
“Salonya was a beautiful person, inside and outside,” Jackson said, “She was the epitome of the loving person. She didn’t have anybody that she was against. She loved everybody.”
Evans worked as a certified nursing assistant at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
“The Carilion family is heartbroken at the loss of our colleague,” Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital ‘s statement said, “In addition to being a loving daughter and a wonderful mother, she was a remarkable caregiver and, over the past seven months, quickly found a loving family at Carilion. We will miss her dearly. Her mission in life was to help others, and she will be remembered for her infectious smile, compassion and selflessness. We continue to send our thoughts and prayers to Salonya’s family. We’re focusing our attention on helping her family navigate this difficult time. Thank you for respecting the Evans family’s privacy as they grieve.”
City Council Member Trish White-Boyd called an impromptu meeting of city leaders, faith leaders and concerned citizens Monday to plan a demonstration for the weekend to bring attention to the issue of gun violence in the area.
Anyone with information can call (540)344-8500, or text “RoanokePD” to 274637.