NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police and the family of a 19-year-old New Haven woman who was shot to death in her sleep in June 2020 held a press conference Friday, urging the community to step forward with information on the case.

Kiana Brown was asleep at a friend’s house on Valley Street when, according to police, a stray bullet went through the side of the house and struck her in the head. Her autopsy showed a fatal gunshot wound and her death was ruled a homicide.

No one realized Brown was hurt until the next morning when they couldn’t wake her up, police said. Her family has been searching for answers ever since.

New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson said they’ve been following up on leads and interviewing numerous witnesses.

The police department and the state’s attorney’s office are now offering a $25,000 reward to any individual who provides information that leads to the shooter’s arrest and conviction.

Brown’s family called on the New Haven community s to step forward and say something.

“Her smile, she was so full of life… she was so full of life,” said Sharon Brown, the victim’s aunt. “[She] had jokes for days. She was just so special to us. She was a dancing fool. She loved to dance. She loved playing basketball, she was just so lively. And that was what was taken away from us, and we want people to remember her in that way.”

Kiana Brown
Kiana Brown (Credit: Family photo)

Brown’s mother, Karen, told News 8 in 2021 that her daughter was “the life of the party.”

“I don’t sleep at night,” Karen said at the time. “I toss and turn, wondering what could I have done differently. I don’t know what happened to my child, and I need to know what happened to my child.”

“Whether there is a reward or not, we need people in the city who have that information to do the right thing, to step forward and provide us with the information that we need to bring closure and justice to these families,” Assistant Police Chief Bertram Ettienne said.

Coming up on News 8 at 6, hear more from Brown’s family.