The mother of a 9-year-old girl who was killed during a home invasion in Cincinnati, Ohio, is urging the man responsible to come forward.
"I know, and I think everyone else knows, this wasn't his intention,'' Amber Caudell said, according to WXIA. "He didn't come in there and intend to shoot and kill a 9-year-old kid."
But Amber believes the man needs to come forward and "take the blame" for murdering her daughter, Alexandrea "Sissy" Thompson on Jan. 18.
"I think they had a plan in mind and it didn't turn out how they planned and Sissy was killed,'' she said. "They need to turn in the person who did this. Someone needs to come forward. Someone has to talk."
The home invasion took place on Jan. 18 at the Mount Auburn neighborhood home of Sissy's dad, Alex Thompson. Four slightly-built men, of which three were wearing ski masks and had handguns, entered the home reportedly looking for Alex.
Amber wants to know why Alex was a target because she does not believe it was a random home invasion.
Alex told Amber he was in his bedroom playing a video game when the men walked in with a gun to Sissy's head and a hand over her mouth. He said he lunged for the gun and the two fought over the weapon. Alex was shot four times during the fight and has since recovered.
He thought Sissy had escaped, but she actually went behind him during the fight and was shot.
"I want to know what happened on that third floor," Amber said. "I emailed the detective and told them I want to know exactly what happened up there. None of this makes any sense to me."
Criminologists are processing evidence related to the home invasion and murder, according to Cincinnati Police homicide Sgt. Anthony Faillace. He is confident the case will be solved, even though no arrests have been made. A $17,000 reward, raised through donations, is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Amber hopes someone will come forward with information, and is thankful to the dozens of co-workers, cops and strangers who have donated money and helped support her family.
"Sissy was my very first priority, but now I have to focus on getting people to talk," Amber said. "And if money is the motivation, then so be it."
Amber is also focused on healing her family. Sissy's older sister and Amber's oldest daughter, Avalynn, 15, was at the home during the attack. Avalynn was held by one of the men before escaping and locking herself in a bathroom. She later found Sissy and called and texted Amber with, "Sissy's dead."
Amber's 3-year-old daughter Charlie doesn't understand that Sissy is not coming home.
"I told her Sissy got hurt really bad and she died and that she wouldn't see her anymore,'' Amber said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, adding that the little girl said in response, "I'll see her later, right?"
Amber is comforted in knowing that by donating Sissy's corneas and the soft tissue from her legs, other children will be blessed.
"Truly that has been the only easy thing; the only thing I didn't have to think about," Amber said. "It was so Sissy. She was so caring and giving. It's something. But it doesn't make me miss her any less."
Rev. Alecia Braddock of The Calvary Church said in a sermon at Sissy's funeral that killings must stop, according to Fox News, and urged people to "stop killing our babies."