9OYS Continuing Coverage
Remembering Genna Ayup: Friends turn to social media for answers
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A family just wants to know why, why their daughter is dead. And they're turning to social media for answers. Since Genna Ayup was shot, it's been an emotional roller coaster for friends and family. Many, including Genna's best friend have turned to Facebook to share their thoughts and memories of the 27-year-old mother.
"I know how many people want justice for Genna and how many people loved her," said Rachel Smith.
Smith is Genna's best friend. She says she loved Genna like a sister, and she's taken to Facebook to make sure no one forgets who she was and the tragic way her life was cut short.
"I just wanted to have a page to give Genna a voice because she's not here to speak for herself," Smith said.
So far, more than 650 likes and a trail of comments remembering Genna light up her page. Smith also started a petition seeking justice. She set out for 100 signatures. By Wednesday night, they had more than 1,500. She tells 9OYS the last two weeks have been frustrating, but she understands Tucson Police's investigation takes time.
"I appreciate that they're doing their investigation, but I wanted to put that petition out there anyway," Smith said. "There are a lot of people who are angry about what happened and it makes them feel better to sign that petition and show their support."
The support for Genna and her family has been overwhelming says Smith, but she's not surprised by it.
"She had that smile and lit up a room, she was an amazing mother," she said.
Now fifteen days since Genna was shot, it's starting to sink in. The best friend Smith used to talk to on the phone with everyday will never again be one phone call away. And that reality isn't easy to accept.
"I'm just completely devastated in shock that this has happened," she said. "That I don't get to pick up the phone and call her anymore. There are really no words to explain how I feel."
9OYS has learned many people have written local city officials asking for answers. Smith tells KGUN 9 they have heard back from some. Councilman Paul Cunningham has written back reassuring people TPD will make an arrest as soon as they "have the proper means to do so."
At last check Wednesday, there were no new updates on the case from TPD. But they do tell 9OYS they are taking this case very seriously. They're asking everyone to be patient and say they are committed to bringing justice to this situation.