QUEENS, New York (WABC) -- The New York Police Department announced a $10,000 reward, up from $2,500, for information about the murder of a young woman from Queens back in 2010.
Detectives said they hope the increased reward would encourage anyone with information about the death of Demika Moore to come forward.
"She was a young girl," Detective Charlie Venticinque said. "She had a life ahead of her and it was cut short for no reason. Someone knows something we don't know and if they can come forward and help, the answers are out there, we just have to find them."
Moore's family says they had reported her missing several months before police found her body, but because Moore was 24, an adult, efforts to find her had been limited, and by the time police located her, it was too late.
Police found Moore around 10:30 p.m. on Friday, July 23, 2010, when they responded to reports of a woman wrapped in a sheet and left in an alley in Jamaica, Queens -- near Leslie Road and 178th Street.
The woman's body had broken ribs, a lacerated liver and internal bleeding, according to detectives.
It wasn't until October, however, that police identified Moore as the woman they'd found.
Her family called police after hearing about news coverage of a woman with a tattoo that read "Zoe" who police needed help identifying.
Moore had obtained the "Zoe" tattoo, in honor of her daughter, who was about three years old at the time.
"I am a mother pleading for Demika Moore," said Moore's mother, who asked to remain anonymous. "The family needs closure. You damaged a lot of people's lives and it hurts."
Moore's mother spoke publicly for the first time exclusively to Eyewitness News about the impact of her daughter's death.
"Right now, we don't know what happened to Demika," she said. "Not a day goes by where I don't think about her."
Moore's boyfriend -- and father of her child -- also spoke with Eyewitness News in the hopes his words might honor Moore's memory.
"I loved this girl," Kane Bonitto said. "Someone stole my queen, man. What she got is not what she deserved. That person (who murdered her) deserves death, straight up."
Bonitto has been raising their daughter, who is now 13, as a single dad.
"I just wish that my daughter could have her mom, man, you know what I'm saying? I just wish I could have my family back," Bonitto said.
Why Moore went missing and whom she was with is a question police have yet to answer.
Her family said a severe car accident several years before Moore's death left her with brain trauma, seizures and sometimes reduced judgement. Her mom described Moore as becoming too trusting and her boyfriend said she struggled with short-term memory loss.
Before the accident Moore had been a talented singer, who performed at venues such as the Apollo, and dreamed of becoming a fashion designer or music artist.
The last day Moore's mom saw her, she said the two had planned to pick up Moore's daughter from daycare together, but Moore went to the store and never came back.
The family couldn't say who Moore had been with in the months she was missing, but they said they believe she was held against her will.
"She was a fighter, believe me," Bonitto said. "It wasn't easy whatever they did to her."
Detectives hope to answer those questions about the final months of Moore's life and identify the person who killed her.
"We are working on it," Detective Venticinque said. "We are trying to find the answers to give her family closure."
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). All calls will be kept anonymous.
The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577.
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