Sister seeks answers in ’15 Youngstown shooting death of brother

Cold Case

The house where Jeffrey Averette was murdered is being torn down

Tracey Lewis said since the death of her brother Jeffrey Averette in 2015, she has trust issues.

WKBN File: The scene of the homicide in 2015.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Tracey Lewis said since the death of her brother Jeffrey Averette in 2015, she has trust issues.

The reason is because she knows there are people who have information on her brother’s death, but they wont give that information to police.

“It’s hard to trust those people,” she said.

Averette, 47, was found Dec. 3, 2015, shot to death in his home on High Street. He had been shot once in the head and six times in the chest.

Lewis was a victim of violent crime herself. She was wounded after she was shot several times early March 24, 2017, when someone broke into her home and shot her and her husband Ronald Lewis, 49, who died at the scene.

A man was convicted of her husband’s death and sentenced to life in prison.

Lewis said her brother was a fun person to be around who was devoted to his daughter, who he had late in life and was just two when he was murdered.

A family member who was dropping off Averette’s daughter to see him was the person who discovered his body.

Lewis said the girl knows her father is not there, but she is too young to understand why.

“She finally put down her cell phone. She used to call him every day,” Lewis said of Averette’s daughter.

The lead detective on the case is on medical leave and could not be reached for comment, but Lewis said investigators have told her there is not much to go on.

“There’s nothing new,” Lewis said. “No real leads. No leads really at all.”

Her brother’s house is also on the verge of being torn down. A demolition crew is going through most of the homes on the street and tearing them down. Averette’s house has not been torn down yet, but police towed a car in the drive this week in preparation for its demolition.

Lewis said she realizes finding her brother’s killer might be a stretch, but she refuses to give up any hope of getting justice.

“My brother’s case has been going on a little over four years, but I believe I won’t stop searching for something,” Lewis said.

This story is part of a series of cold cases that WKBN is examining.

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