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Who killed Samantha Cothran? 8-year-old homicide case remains unsolved because no eyewitnesses have come forward

Posted at 6:02 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 10:05:42-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It was Mother’s Day, May 12, 2012. Samantha Cothran and her sister had stopped by a party. As they were leaving, there was gunfire. Samantha was killed.

“My other daughter was with her. She called me and said mom Samantha got shot. I immediately raced to the party,” Melissa Bosley, Samantha's mother, said. “When I got there, she was still on the ground. Once they picked the sheet up to take a picture of her, I saw the top of her head even from the distance of where I was at I knew it was her."

It was at that moment Bosley knew her first born daughter was never coming home. Samantha celebrated her 23rd birthday just days before she died. She had graduated from college the year before. She had been working in a pharmacy.

"She'd be 31 this year... I hate it," Bosley said.

Almost a decade after losing her daughter, Melissa is still looking for answers. No one has been arrested for her daughter's murder. But in 2019, someone who was at the party told Bosley they knew who opened fire.

"I understand that there's a snitching rule in Buffalo but your family still has you. I don't have my daughter," Bosley said

Eight years later, Deputy Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said the same thing is still happening. People are getting shot and killed at parties, and no one is talking to police.

"It's the same as all the years before and that's getting cooperation. We've had a dramatic increase compared to last year in our shootings, particularly our non fatal shootings. Lack of cooperation among shooting victims and then when we have homicides the lack of cooperation in getting witnesses to come forward," Gramaglia said.

Like in Samantha's case, no eyewitnesses willing to cooperate with police means no arrests.

Melissa's sister-in-law Carmen Solomon can see the effect this is having on her family.

"This woman works all the time. All the time. Work, cemetery, work, cemetery that's all she does," Solomon said.

Anyone with information on Samantha's case or any others can call the Buffalo Police's Confidential Tip Line at 847-2255.

"I just want them to have closure," Carmen said.