WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – “It’s a long time. I just feel like five years is a long time,” said Darnya Barber.

Barber remembers vividly who her son was at 21 years old.

“Very smart. He loved to sing. He loved going to church, believe it or not. He loved to sing. He loved the choir,” she said.

While she remains connected to who he was then, she will never know who he would be now, at 26.

“That’s the question that I always wonder. What would he be doing? What would he look like? How long would his hair be? Would he have finally went back to school? Those are all the questions that I just will never have an answer too,” she said.

According to Winter Haven police, Darnell Powell was asleep in bed when he was shot through a window on Avenue V Northeast in Winter Haven.

It was 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 29, 2018.

“We don’t quite understand why he’s gone but we just need someone to be accountable for taking him,” said Barber.

Police have never publicly released a motive or suspect’s name.

“Sometimes you feel like they forget and sometimes it feels like you’re fighting everyone. It’s like you run into a wall. Everything is a process and it gets very exhausting,” said Barber, who contacts the police department often to check in.

Detectives have little to no physical evidence to go on, which means any movement in the case depends on witnesses.

“We’ve gotten a little information here and there but nothing has been able to substantiate and be able to help us with the case,” said Winter Haven Police Chief David Brannan.

Chief Brannan said he and his detectives have been discussing Powell’s murder during cold case meetings at the state’s attorney’s office.

“Everybody brings cases in and we all talk about this and really what we’re waiting on or needing is somebody if they saw something, to come forward,” said Chief Brannan.

In the meantime, Barber makes signs, prints T-shirts and speaks out whenever she can to make sure nobody forgets, especially those who know who killed her son.

“Either Darnell or God is troubling their mind or their heart. That’s too much to carry. I don’t feel like they sleep peacefully at night. I don’t feel like they can live with a clear conscience,” she said.

Crime Stoppers is offering $9,500 in reward money for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information regarding this case should contact Heartland Crime Stoppers:

  • Call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477)
  • From your cell phone, dial **TIPS
  • Or visit the website and click on “Submit A Tip,”
  • Or download the free “P3tips” app on your smartphone or tablet.