Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Answers Remain Elusive Evidence Sparse in '99 Slaying

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Answers Remain Elusive Evidence Sparse in '99 Slaying

Article excerpt

Margaret Giorgianni hadn't heard about the body found in Springfield when she got the call.

Rumor on the street, the girl told her, was that it was her granddaughter.

"I was hoping it wouldn't be," Giorgianni said.

A year has passed since the grandmother made the trip to the morgue to identify 22-year-old Kelly Michelle Giorgianni.

A woman picking up beer bottles discovered the half-clothed body late Feb. 3 on the porch of a vacant home at 1221 N. Market St.

But there was little evidence for police to gather. There weren't many leads and even fewer people talking. No one knew who had killed the bleach blond who danced at JR's Lounge on Emerson Street and lived on the street most of the time. Police haven't released the cause of death.

Kelly Michelle was buried the following Thursday next to empty plots for her father, stepmother, sister and son at a family cemetery in Lake Butler. Though the Giorgiannis were able to lay her to rest, they are still searching for answers --- and her killer.

Detective W.F. Taylor of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office homicide unit hopes that search will end soon. The best tip he's received about the slaying came just last week, he said.

If the information is true, Taylor thinks he can make an arrest.

But solving homicides involving people who live on the streets is difficult. No one wants to talk to police, fearing retribution.

The Giorgianni case isn't different.

At 6, she was already roaming the streets of Springfield. Her mother and father had divorced a year before and her older sister, Margaret, went to live with him.

Her mother was running with the wrong crowd, and Giorgianni was left to fend for herself. Everyone on the streets knew her.

Six years later, her mother was diagnosed with cancer. After battling the illness for several years, Sue Giorgianni moved to her mother's home in Ohio. Her daughter tried to live with them, but she threw tantrums when she didn't get her way and eventually was sent to live with her father in Lake City. …

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