One Year Later: No Arrests, No Closure

By Matt Markham

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March 17, 2012 Updated Mar 17, 2012 at 11:29 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) One year ago Saturday, Maureen Aissa's life changed forever. She lost her seventeen year old son and her home to the work of an arsonist. No one has been found responsible. But, the Aissa family, and Binghamton Police, are not giving up hope.

"We see a funny light, we're at the window because it might be a fire," Maureen said. "The trauma is so embedded in us that it will never, ever leave."

Aissa cannot escape the haunts of her memory, which take her back to Milford Street, and fire, the early morning of March 17, 2011.

Since then she has led her family without one of her sons.

Seventeen year-old Jeffrey was killed in that fire.

"The children all suffer some degree of trauma," Maureen said. "They struggle to move on. They have nightmares."

The fire has been ruled arson by investigators. In that year, just a few leads have been made.

All fell flat.

"We know somebody out there knows what happened," said Binghamton Police Detectives Captain John Shea. "We're just looking for that person to do the right thing, and come and speak with us."

A plea from a mother who will never stop missing her son: "Look closely at your relatives, at your siblings," Maureen asks. "Think deeply in your heart how you would feel if someone set them on fire."

Maureen and her family have a memorial to Jeffrey at the place their home once stood. It is now a place of life.

On a cross, a belt with Jeffrey's name. Though the ground has been cleared and filled for a year, Maureen just found it.

"How it got there, I don't know. I don't know! I've walked on this ground many times in the past year, and have never seen it until two days ago."

The Aissa's fight through fear of uncertainty, not knowing who set this fire, with faith.

"I know he's safe, and I know he will never be harmed again. That's how I go on."

Detectives struggle with a case they say has special meaning to them. They want justice for Jeffrey and need your help to get it.

"As soon as they're done talking, they'll feel better," said Captain Shea. "Somebody's carrying a lot of guilt right now. A seventeen year old boy perished in that fire. His family deserves some closure."

"Every crime we like to solve if possible," Captain Shea said. "This certainly has special meaning to us.