‘Where’s your heart?’: Polk family wants answers 2 years after man killed while sleeping

Polk County

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – On the second anniversary of his death, Darnell Powell’s family is pleading with the public to help detectives crack the case.

On Sept. 29, 2018, Powell, 21, was shot and killed while sleeping in a bedroom at his friend’s residence at 502 Ave. V NE in Winter Haven, according to police.

Detectives do not have any suspects and do not know if it was a random shooting, or targeted, intentional or accidental.

“We really do need justice for Darnell. It’s very hard. We have no closure,” said Darnya Barber, Powell’s mother, who remains hopeful. “If anyone could just kind of help us in any way with any information, we would be very grateful.”

During a joint press conference with detectives Tuesday, Barber described her oldest son as a man with a bright smile and a wide array of talents.

Courtesy Darnya Barber

He had some much more life to live and didn’t deserve what happened, his family said.

“How can you kill a kid in his sleep and nobody speaks up? Where’s your heart?” asked Powell’s aunt, Angela Parker. “You know how hard it is to sleep at night knowing that your nephew was killed in his sleep?”

“I need the public’s help. I’ve got an empty hole in my heart. I miss my baby,” said Darlene Edwards, Powell’s grandmother.

The unsolved nature of the case eats at the Winter Haven Police Department as well.

“When you have a case that you can’t tie up and put it to bed, it plays on you your entire career,” said Winter Haven Police Chief Charlie Bird. “We don’t want it to just go away and become another cold case that sits on a file cabinet.”

On the two year anniversary of Powell’s death, detectives canvassed the Avenue V neighborhood looking for leads.

“We’re just trying to see if anyone heard any new information,” a detective asked a resident.

Chief Bird had a message for the person, or people, responsible.

“If you’re watching this, we will come and we will find you and we will put you in jail,” said Chief Bird, directed at the person(s) responsible.

He hopes the renewed attention will jog someone’s memory. All information would be helpful, even if it seems insignificant.

“It could have been a day or two prior to the shooting that a fight took place, an argument took place, anything that they overheard,” he said.

If you have information you would like to share, you’re urged to call 1-800-226-TIPS (8477).

There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss