Ernestine Johnson tries to keep busy to avoid dwelling on her only son's murder.
She takes as much overtime she can at her custodial job at the International Monetary Fund; she tries to see her grandchildren. Anything to push out the thoughts of the unsolved killing of 21-year-old Kordero M. Howard, of the District.
But four years after Howard was gunned down in a car with friends, his death remains a constant in her mind, Johnson said.
"There's no closure," Johnson told The Washington Examiner. "It's hell."
On Nov. 29, 2008, Howard had left the Icon Nightclub in Waldorf about 2:30 a.m., and was traveling with friends when another vehicle pulled up at the intersection of Branch Avenue and Coventry Way in Clinton. Howard was struck with a bullet to the stem of his brain.
When Johnson arrived at the hospital, the driver of the car was covered in blood, and her son "looked like he was gone already," she recalled.
Doctors said her son's brain was dead but the rest of his body was working. She agreed to donate his organs because "he could save someone else's life," said Johnson, who lives in the Woodland Terrace neighborhood of Southeast D.C.
Howard, who also went by the nicknames Lemonhead and Raz, left behind two children -- one he never got to see because the mother was pregnant at the time of his death.
The girls are now 5 and 3, and the older one keeps asking questions about her father.
"I don't know how to answer," Johnson said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Prince George's County Cold Case Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925 or Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477).