Fort Myers mother seeks justice 15 years after son’s murder

A young Southwest Florida man was murdered 15 years ago, and his mother is still hoping for justice.

The tragic death remains a mystery with no new leads or arrests.

Time hasn’t made loss any easier for Debbie Harrison, whose son Josh Kent was murdered just four days before Mother’s Day in 2006. His killer is still unknown.

Now, 15 years later, Harrison says the once precious holiday will never be the same.

“I miss him every day. He was a big part of my life. He was my only child.”

Josh would be 46 today. He was shot and killed while sitting in a car parked in front of a Fort Myers apartment complex on Royal Palm Avenue.

“I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I had to go to a doctor. I had to go to therapy. I still am on medication, 15 years later. I’m still a mess,” Harrison said.

For some, time heals pain, but with her son’s killer still out there, pain is all Harrison feels.

“Things that he should’ve had. That somebody took away. They took it away from him. Took it away from his son and took it away from his mother.”

The first Mother’s Day without Josh was a blur.

“I don’t even remember. It’s like when this happens to you, things just get lost.”

Fifteen holidays without her son. Has it gotten any easier?

“No. I don’t have a child anymore; there’s nobody to wish me a happy Mother’s Day.”

Nothing will bring back her son, but Harrison said justice will bring her closure, and Crime Stoppers said someone out there has the answers to turn the case around.

“There are still people in this community that know exactly what happened to Josh. They knew exactly who the people are who are responsible for his death,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers coordinator.

A mother’s love has no bounds, and Harrison won’t give up until her son’s killer is found.

“I don’t wanna go to my grave knowing this guy’s still out there.”

Harrison said Josh was able to give her his Mother’s Day gift just before he died. She said she always holds it close as one of her final memories of her son.

If you were in the area of Royal Palm Avenue in May 2006, or know anything about Josh Kent’s death, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS, submit a tip online, or the Fort Myers Police Department at 239-321-7700.

Reporter:Nicole Lauren
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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