Family Members React to News of Arrests in Roundtree Homicide Case
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Police arrested four people in a homicide case that had nearly gone cold. Now at least three of them will head to court this morning to be formally charged.
"This will not bring Latasha back, but hopefully this will be some closure to the Roundtree family," said Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman.
This is the day family and friends have been waiting for since the night of Sept. 22 when Latasha Roundtree, 19, was gunned down in the 600 block of 16th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids She died at a hospital shortly after the shooting. Chief Jerman said there was still no concrete motive behind the fatal shooting and more arrests could be made.
Tajh Ross, 18, and Jeremiah Ellis,18, face several charges including first degree murder. Police arrested Ellis in Rockford, Illinois on Tuesday, where he's still in custody. Officers arrested Ross in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. Liban Muhidin, 20, and Adrian Kenney, 22, are also in police custody. The Cedar Rapids men face lesser charges in Roundtree's death.
The family said they never lost hope in the months since Latasha's death. Investigators told the family they'd find the people responsible for this and the family is thankful they lived up to their word.
"People don't know what they took, and they don't know how I feel," said Latasha's Niece Lanajah Towns.
Latasha's family and friends were filled with mixed emotions Wednesday after receiving a call from Cedar Rapids Police.
"I was so happy, I was really happy," said Latasha's Father Reggie Williams.
Williams, knows four men are behind bars. Those are the people police believe played a role in his daughter's death. The family said the four of them were Latasha's friends, or so they thought.
"It was real surprising that a person -- you can do that to a person you've been hanging with," Williams said.
Family members even recall seeing at least three of those arrested at memorial events held in Latasha's memory. As hard as it is for them to understand, the arrests in the case brought about a sense of relief.
"It was like you could look to everyone and think to yourself, was it them or could it have been this person?" said Latasha's close friend Lakesha Green.
Williams said Latasha would be happy with the news, but it doesn't make life without her any easier.
"It has been real hard," Williams said. "Each day gets harder and harder."
"She is forever loved, and she will never be forgotten," Towns said.
Family and friends will be closely monitoring court proceedings, which will begin at 10:30 Thursday morning. That's when at least three of those arrested will formally be charged in connection with Roundtree's death.
The family can't thank those investigators enough who've been working on this case for the past five months. Chief Jerman said he's proud of his department. More than a quarter of the staff took part in the investigation.