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Search Is On For Suspect In Fatal East New York Stabbing

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A vigil was held Saturday night for a Brooklyn teenager who was fatally stabbed in East New York.

As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported, the teen was just blocks from her home when she was killed.

According to police, officers discovered Tanaya Grant-Copeland, 18, unconscious and unresponsive with multiple stab wounds to the torso near 864 Stanley Ave. around 10:22 p.m. on Friday.

EMS took Grant-Copeland to Brookdale Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Grant-Copeland was on her way to meet friends Friday when she was killed. A cab driver noticed her body on a remote section of sidewalk, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.

During the vigil, loved ones released balloons and community leaders announced a $2,000 reward for information to help catch the killer.

The victim’s heartbroken mother spoke out on Saturday, CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported.

“I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. She was out there by herself on a street corner because some bastard took her life, took my child’s life,” Rochelle Copeland said. “She was stabbed in her neck, that is the stab I saw. Stabbed several times in her back and abdomen, so whoever did this wanted her dead. She didn’t have any money or wallet or her phone, I’m not sure her bag is missing.”

Friends of the young victim described her as always smiling, and never one to get into trouble.

Roger Green told Langford he saw her just hours before she was murdered.

“Everyone says she’s dead, but I don’t believe it. I can’t believe it because we were just talking yesterday,” he said.

“I can’t imagine who would want to do this to her,” said Elizabeth Sinclair.

Sinclair said she knew Grant-Copeland from the local community center where they attended band practice. She said Grant-Copeland played the drums nearly every day, including right up until a couple of hours before she was killed.

Band director Osei Smith remembered Grant-Copeland as one to avoid conflicts and trouble — always looking to make others smile.

“She’d find a way to put a joke in there somewhere to make you smile,” Smith said.

Family and friends said drumming with the Community Marching Band was Grant-Copeland’s main passion and she wanted a career in music.

The teen was also studying nursing at Long Island University.

No arrests have been made. Police said the investigation is ongoing.

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