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Family of mother found dead in St. Pete alley asks person responsible to come forward

Police say Jona Waller was found in the area of 37th Street North with stab wounds.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The family of a mother who was found dead in an alley last week in St. Petersburg demanded justice for her life Tuesday afternoon when they called for the person or people responsible for her death to come forward.

Speaking during a news conference, Jona Waller's mother, Patricia Suggs-Walker, said that anyone who knows information surrounding her daughter's death needs to call the St. Petersburg Police Department. 

"I will fight until I get justice for my daughter," she said. "Please turn yourself into the police department, it will give us closure."  

The 34-year-old woman's body was identified Friday after she was found dead in an alley near the 200th block of 37th Street North with stab wounds, according to a previous news release.

The family said that Jona Waller was a mother of two daughters ages 5 and 3. Ever since her death, it's been a constant nightmare, Patricia Suggs-Walker said.

"I have not been sleeping, not been eating," she said. "I need to know what happened to her."

Patricia Suggs-Walker also said that she would talk on the phone with her daughter every day. Their last phone call did not sound like there was anything to worry about, but when she didn't receive a call from her daughter, she said that's when she felt something was off. Her instincts were right.

"I've found people pass down the alleyway, so when I discovered the body I didn't think it was anything crazy," Alex Visagio said.

Visagio is the man who called 911 after finding Jona Waller's body behind a trashcan Friday afternoon.

"This is nothing like I've ever experienced before,"  Visagio said.

While he didn't know she was dead when he called after finding her in the alley, he hopes her family gets answers.

"I know they have to be going through it. I hope they find answers, but from what I understand there's not a whole lot to go off of," Visagio said.

The family said they want justice for Jona Waller in order to provide closure to them and for her memory to live on. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the St. Petersburg police at 727-893-7780. A cash reward is available to those who wish to remain anonymous and give information that may lead to an arrest by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.

10 Tampa Bay's BriShon Mitchel contributed to this report.

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