Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Looking for Cousins' Van; SHOOTING 2 Lake City Women Are Latest Grand Park Victims

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Looking for Cousins' Van; SHOOTING 2 Lake City Women Are Latest Grand Park Victims

Article excerpt

Byline: JIM SCHOETTLER

The voice of a cheery Janet Mincey could be heard preparing to have a good time in Jacksonville in her last Facebook.com post. But the Lake City woman also hinted at the danger of making the trip.

"What's up just getting off gettin ready to ride to the bangum and chill! Loving my life......" wrote Mincey Saturday afternoon.

Bangum - or bangem - is urban slang used to describe Jacksonville and its reputation as a rough, often violent area, said Rhea Reynolds, a close friend of Mincey's. For Mincey and her cousin, Tashanda Jones, the euphemism rang chillingly true.

Mincey, 33, and Jones, 20, were found fatally shot late Monday afternoon on a junk-filled, secluded stretch of road in the Grand Park neighborhood. It's unclear what the women were doing in Jacksonville or when they met the unknown killer or killers who stole their minivan after their deaths.

Police pleaded with the public Tuesday for help in finding the vehicle, a 2004 red or burgundy Ford minivan, which was stolen after the 5:20 p.m. attack in the 3700 block of Spring Grove Street.

Reynolds, who also lives in Lake City, said Jacksonville is known by her friends as a potentially dangerous place to visit. She said the double slaying reaffirmed that fear in her mind.

"Pretty much it's like everybody thinks if you go to a certain side of town, the possibility of what did happen could happen," said Reynolds, 26.

Keri Bias, Jones' stepmother, said there is a perception among people that Jacksonville is not safe. The Lake City woman said she's unsure why Jones was in town.

"I wouldn't encourage my child to go over there, even if she is grown," said Bias, 34.

A VIOLENT NEIGHBORHOOD

The victims died before paramedics could help them. A woman who lives nearby said she saw the bodies lying near each other and believes they were both shot in the head. Police did not discuss details of the killings, including where the women were shot or what type of gun was used. …

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