A'Tiya TiJonna Maddox skipped to her work station after giving her mother and the general manager of Deacon Jones Nissan each a kiss on the cheek when she came into work Thursday, July 21.

"That particular day she came in and gave me a kiss and my general manager made a comment -- "I'm jealous, 'Tiya, I don't get a kiss?" And she laughed and gave him a kiss on the cheek and I remember her skipping," said Maddox's mother, Tiffany. "It's like she skipped because she was so happy."

And, before she left work that night, around 8 p.m., she gave her mother another kiss and told her she was going to a friend's house.

It was the last time she would punch the clock at the car dealership.

It would also be the last time Mrs. Maddox ever spoke to her daughter.

"When I left for work that Friday morning, I left about 8:30 a.m., and she was in her bed asleep," Tiffany said. "I looked in and she was sleeping so good. She don't really snore, but she was really tired that morning and I remember she was laying on her back, and she was snoring, and I remember thinking, 'Wow, she's tired because she's snoring,' and I did not give her a kiss because she was sleeping so good I didn't want to wake her up."

Tiffany would never again see her daughter alive.

That afternoon, just after 1 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2016, A'Tiya was shot and killed. She was 19.

Whoever murdered A'Tiya remains free.

Police have not yet made an arrest, have not yet named any suspects, have not yet received the tip that might lead to the evidence needed to close this unsolved homicide.

What's more, the specific circumstances around her untimely death remain shrouded in mystery.


Police have released few details regarding A'Tiya's death.

Maj. Anthony Carmon, head of the Goldsboro Police Department's Investigative Services Bureau, confirmed some already known details regarding the day she died.

He said that A'Tiya was brought to Wayne Memorial Hospital that day in her own car, a gray 2014 Nissan Sentra.

Tiffany said police told the family A'Tiya was brought to the hospital by two men -- men the police at the time called "good Samaritans."

But Carmon declined to confirm who those two men are, and whether they were being considered witnesses or suspects.

According to Tiffany, police also did not test the men for gunshot residue to see if either man had fired a gun.

Carmon refused to confirm whether or not police had indeed tested either the car or the men's hands for gunshot residue.

Tiffany also said the two men gave statements to police. Carmon said those statements are not being released due to the fact the investigation is ongoing.


January marked the sixth month since A'Tiya was slain by an unknown person.

Now, her parents -- Tiffany and John Maddox -- are asking anyone who knows anything to come forward with information about the case.

"We just want justice," Tiffany said.

A'Tiya was attending Wayne Community College and working two jobs in July 2016, and her mother said she had big plans for things she wanted to do this year.

Tiffany said she was working at the car dealership -- she had gotten A'Tiya her job there -- when she received a call from a number she didn't know.

She said she ignored it because, No. 1, it was an unknown number, and No. 2, she was with a customer.

Then she got a text.

The text said, "EMERGENCY," in all capital letters with several exclamation points.

The phone rang again.

The person on the other end -- the pastor at the Maddox's church -- told Tiffany her daughter was unresponsive and she needed to come to Wayne Memorial Hospital.

"Of course, at that point I immediately panicked," Tiffany said. "I think I had a pen in my hand or something and I remember dropping it. My coworkers say I let out a scream. I don't remember screaming, but everybody afterwards talked about it, and they said I let out a scream like one they'd never heard before."

A coworker rushed Tiffany to the hospital where she was swept into the family room of the emergency room to wait for the news of what happened to her daughter.

John said because his job requires him to be out of town, it took him two hours to get to the hospital after their church pastor called them and told them they needed to come quickly.

He also had no idea what he was walking into.

"When I got to the hospital, I could just tell by people's faces," John said. "One of my friends was walking toward me and when he got (close) he just turned his head and walked the other way."

The doctor came into the room with three nurses.

"The whole while I'm thinking -- my thoughts were that she had been in a car accident. That's what I was thinking. But, you know, when I get there, and they say she had been shot, of course I'm hysterical, wanting to know what's going on," Tiffany said.

"The doctor walked in with three nurses -- they had on blue -- and they walked in and he introduced himself. And while he's introducing himself, I'm saying, 'Please, just tell me my baby's OK.' He said, 'No, I'm sorry, we did everything we could, but she didn't make it.'"

Tiffany remembers falling to her knees.



"And after that point, I don't remember a lot."


The first month was the hardest, Tiffany said. And it has not truly gotten better -- she has episodes where she breaks out in tears.

"Sometimes I still feel like she should be here when I get home; sometimes I still feel like she should be in her room," Tiffany said.

And to an extent, A'Tiya is still in the home. A Curieux cabinet that Tiffany and John have had since the late 1990s has been made into a memorial for A'Tiya. Her ashes rest inside an urn, and a hollow rose, also filled with her ashes, sits in the bottom of the cabinet.

It is also filled with gifts bestowed on the family after A'Tiya's death -- which is fitting, given what the name A'Tiya means.

John said they named their daughter A'Tiya because of a book his aunt and uncle had at the time with names and their meanings in it.

"A'Tiya" means a gift, or a present.

A'Tiya's middle name -- TiJonna -- is her parents' names combined into one.

On top of the cabinet is a Build-A-Bear her parents made about a week after her funeral.

It is dressed in a jumpsuit and boots -- a favorite outfit of A'Tiya's -- and has a nose ring, just like she had.

On the bear's head is part of a wig A'Tiya made herself -- on it's back are angel wings.

Most of the what's in the cabinet is purple -- A'Tiya's favorite color.

But Tiffany's favorite color is red, and come Valentine's Day she has special plans for what she will leave at A'Tiya's memorial on the corner of Olivia Lane and Slaughter Street where the murder took place.

"Valentine's Day is my favorite, and red is my favorite color, so I'm going to get red heart balloons and all kinds of hearts and stuff to put out there," Tiffany said.


The location where A'Tiya was slain, at the corner of Olivia Lane and Slaughter Street, was not an uncommon place for her to be.

Tiffany said A'Tiya's best friend lives in that area, and she would visit her often.

Her parents are urging anyone who knows anything about what happened to their daughter to come forward, and bring justice for A'Tiya.

A'Tiya's parents said they are planning to begin a scholarship fund in her honor.

They have chosen a scholarship fund in remembrance of their daughter because they said A'Tiya was kind, loving and giving.

"She had a very caring heart," Tiffany said. "She would do for everybody, and she was just very friendly and always smiling. She liked to give. She liked to help people."

CrimeStoppers -- Anyone with information about Atiya's murder can call or text CrimeStoppers at 919-735-2255, or submit information at tipsubmit.com. Callers can remain anonymous and anyone providing information leading to a felony arrest is eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. And, with donated funds added, the total reward amount for information leading to an arrest in the case is $11,000.