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Family members mourn those lost, plead for answers in Troy murders

Isaiah Smith, left, is the son of Shanta Myers and brother of JJ and Shanise. Centeris Khalif Coleman, nephew and uncle of the victims, and at right, Shakera Simes, sister and aunt.

TROY -- "What happens if that was your family and you were the only one who survived?" asked Isaiah Smith.

One phone call changed Isaiah's life forever. The 15 year old says he was away in Massachusetts when he learned his mother, brother, and sister were found murdered in their Troy home.

"Couldn't believe it. Heartbroken. I fell down to the ground right in the bathroom and cried thinking who would've done this?" he said.

Police say the bodies of 5 year old Shanise Myers, 11 year old Jeremiah "JJ" Myers, the children's mother 36 year old Shanta Myers, and her partner 22 year old Brandi Mells, were discovered in their basement apartment on 2nd Avenue by the property manager the day after Christmas.

"My sister was supposed to be with me and her children, all three of them, for Christmas, and I got robbed of that," said Shakera Symes, Shanta's sister.

Symes says the suffering this has caused, and will continue to cause their family -- is irreparable.

"It feels like somebody ripped us to shreds and we only have each other right now and we are grasping and holding on to each other for dear life."

One by one, holding hands and smiling through tears, family members each shared memories of the children.

Isaiah says his little brother JJ was his shadow.

"It got to the point where I'd be in the bathroom and he'd be on the other side talking to me like 'bro what are you about to do after this?' and I'd be like 'I don't know!'" he joked.

Symes says Shanise loved to cook like her mother.

"She told me a week ago 'Auntie I know how to make spaghetti.' I said 'you know how to make spaghetti?' She said 'yes I know how to make spaghetti, I have the recipe!'"

And Shanise's uncle Khalif Coleman joked that the 5 year old had sass.

"A grown woman in a little body! A grown woman in a little body! I mean there was no telling that girl what to do! She would be in your business like 'what!' and you'd walk away like 'what? Did she just say that?'" Coleman explained.

But now memories are all they have left, and they're pleading with the public for answers.

"If you know something that could help us put the monster away who did this to my sister and her beautiful babies, you've got to say something. The longer you wait, the further away this perpetrator gets and it makes it harder for us to sleep at night," said Symes.

Police say they still do not have anybody in custody.

Victory Christian Church in Albany is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, increased from $5,000.

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