DARTMOUTH - Still-mourning mother Torina Simon said Wednesday two arrests made in connection with the murder of her 19-year-old daughter, Keya Knita Simon, represent “a step” forward in a tragic case that has dragged on for more than three and a half years.
But after waiting so long to understand what happened the night of Jan. 8, 2011, when the teenage mom died of stab wounds at a party inside a Dartmouth apartment building, Simon won’t fully believe progress is being made until charges are actually laid.
Police investigators have indicated to Torina and husband Noel that should happen on Thursday, she said.
“The officer was here this morning, basically briefing me, telling me that they’ve got the two guys,” Torina said late Wednesday night.
Halifax Regional Police did confirm Wednesday that investigators had taken one 25-year-old man into custody in Dartmouth, while officers in New Brunswick had arrested another 25-year-old man, although they couldn’t say where in that province.
“We’ll see if charges will result,” HRP spokesman Const. Pierre Bourdages said, adding police have 24 hours from the time the suspects were arrested to do so, otherwise they’ll be released.
“We should have an answer before noon (Thursday),” Bourdages said.
Officers arrived at 117 Pinecrest Dr. at 11:20 p.m. on that long ago winter night to find Keya “unresponsive” inside the front doors.
Torina said police told her plans are to charge one man with Keya’s murder, and the other man for the attempted murder of the victim’s half-sister, 32-year-old Tiesha Allison, who was also stabbed but suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Police say the two sisters knew a group that had arrived at the party, and started an altercation that ended up on the front lawn of the apartment building.
Earlier this year, Torina told Metro Halifax that she was upset with her older daughter, and others who were at the party, for not telling police what happened.
“You’re keeping a secret that could set somebody free or put them in jail,” she said at the time.
Investigators were interviewing the two men, who are both originally from Dartmouth, Wednesday afternoon.
Bourdages couldn’t say what led to the arrests, but admitted that “in most of these cases, the unsolved homicides, we have an individual that has information, that for some reason does not share it with police, so it takes an enormous amount of time.”
“It’s the dedication of the investigators and their constant work that led to the arrests being made today,” he said.
Keya’s son is now four years old, with the “same brown eyes, same smile” as his mother.
“It’s like, my God, I’m looking at her again,” Torina said.
She said “it’s about time” arrests have been made in the case, which has been part of the province’s unsolved crimes program awarding anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible with up to $150,000.
But “there are still a whole lot more questions that need to be asked and answered,” she said.