Family members march for fire victims

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Updated: 5/07 10:04 pm

LANSINGBURGH, N.Y. – Family members held a march and prayer for fire victims 19-year-old Vanessa Milligan and her unborn child on Wednesday.

Milligan was inside her Lansingburgh apartment when a fire broke out and spread to two buildings on Fifth Avenue in April. 

Community and family members held a prayer vigil at the Missing Link AME Zion Church and marched to a memorial that sits across the street from the house where Milligan was found.

The investigation into the fire is ongoing, and police have ruled it a homicide. No arrests have been made.

Family members hope the march would convince anyone who might have information into Milligan’s death to come forward and help police with their investigation.

Shannon Williamson is Milligan’s aunt.

“Every night we go to bed wondering why there hasn’t been anybody arrested,” she said. “How can people just do this and turn their heads? It doesn’t make sense.”

Milligan’s family has been grieving since her passing. Her younger sister, Myasia Harmon, fought back tears as she remembered Milligan.

“We always used to sing together,” she said. “Me and her used to always walk together everywhere.”

Milligan’s cousin, Jared Grimes, marched for her as well Wednesday and encouraged people to speak up.

“It just needs to happen,” he said. “Justice needs to be served.”

Troy police said they are working through forensic evidence and have looked into several suspects but are still in need of the public’s help.

“We need to get some calls on this case,” Troy Police Captain John Cooney said. “We need to keep going full speed ahead.”

As police work toward an arrest, Milligan’s family is left hoping others will hear their message.

“Just put yourself in our shoes, please,” Williamson said. “What if this was your sister? What if this was your daughter, your niece?”

Anyone with information is strongly encouraged to contact Troy police.

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