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Chesterfield family searches for teen’s killer: ‘We still need help’

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 17:47:53-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- More than three months have passed since 18-year-old Bryson Mitchell was killed. He was found with a gunshot wound in a crashed car on Gatesgreen Drive in Chesterfield during the early morning hours of September 26.

“It was the worst day of my life,” said his mother, Sarah Esmailka, as she wiped away tears.

Since, no one has been charged with the crime, according to Chesterfield Police.

“The police are working very hard on everything that they have,” Esmailka explained. “I want someone held accountable for what happened and the impact it’s had on our family and our kids.”

Bryson Mitchell

Detectives don’t believe anyone else was inside the car when it crashed with Mitchell behind the wheel.

“I want him to be remembered as someone who loved his family, put his family, especially his younger sister and brother first,” Esmailka stated. “He loved to fish, loved to be outside, was an amazing artist, the life of every party.”

His stepfather, John Newton, said Mitchell “was never scared to talk to strangers or meet new people.”

Hundreds attended his funeral last year. His death has even made a lasting impact on the students at Matoaca High School where he last attended, his family said.

Sarah Esmailka

“Even knowing that he’s in a better place — knowing that whoever did his to my son is still out there having Christmas with his family and enjoying New Years,” Esmailka said. “We are still getting used to doing life without him physically here.”

Mitchell’s family plead for witnesses or anyone with details that could lead to an arrest to come forward.

“Until I see my son in heaven one day, I won’t have closure,” said Esmailka. “But I do want justice and I do know my son deserves justice.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or through the P3 app.