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One year later, probe continues into death of Treyanna Summerville

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:35 PM EDT
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GOUVERNEUR, New York (WWNY) - Justice for Treyanna Summerville is on hold as the investigation into her death continues. Friends want to make sure she’s not forgotten once more.

The memory of hundreds gathering to remember Treyanna Summerville one year ago gives Emily Burgess solace:

“It really moved me because I knew that people cared about her,” said Burgess.

The gathering was held the evening after the 18-year-old was found dead at her Rowley Street home.

Treyanna’s 13-year-old half sister was charged with murder. Then her mother, Lashanna Charlton, was charged with manslaughter. But since, little has been heard of either case.

District Attorney Gary Pasqua says it’s not an open-and-shut one.

“Obviously, this is a very complicated issue. There are a lot of moving parts. It’s a thorough investigation. It involves a lot of forensics,” he said.

The 13-year-old’s case is in youth court. Lashanna Charlton has been out on bail since last July. Her case was moved from village to county court. So far there has been no indictment or other action.

“We’ll proceed forward once we’re satisfied that the investigation has been completed,” said Pasqua.

Burgess is hoping to hear something soon. She and classmates saw scratches on Treyanna, missing hair, and other signs of abuse. They reported it to authorities. She and her friends suspected Treyanna’s mother. Nothing was done then. And now?

“Not hearing anything, not even one piece of information about how the court is going, is very upsetting because it feels like we’re being pushed aside again,” said Burgess.

Burgess fears a girl ignored by many in her last months of life could suffer that fate again. Pasqua vows that won’t happen.

“She has certainly not been forgotten. That is certainly not the case. We are actively working the case. Actively working the investigation,” he said.

In response to a 7 News inquiry, Lashanna Charlton’s lawyer said she does not comment on pending cases. Burgess and others are hoping to organize something again this year in memory of Treyanna.

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