13-year-old's death a painful reminder of safety issue posed by vacant homes

County Commissioner speaks about the large number of vacant homes in Dallas

DALLAS - A vacant house likely overlooked for years has become the backdrop for a community in mourning.

"This is a perfect place for a murder -- as they say -- no windows, no doors, no nothing... it's terrible," said Rhonda Camp, a Southern Dallas resident.

The body of 13-year-old Shavon Randle was found inside a boarded up property on Kiest Boulevard in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood -- a tragic ending to a kidnapping scheme involving drugs and money.

Camp said vacant buildings like the one in which Randle was found aren't hard to find.

"They're nothing but drug heavens -- or prostitute heavens or whatever they do -- I feel like they should be [torn] down," Camp said.

For Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway, the teenager’s death is a sobering reminder that vacant houses in his district need to go.

"Those are the type of things that destroy neighborhoods,” Caraway said. “Those are the things that attract these types of crimes and drug houses and stash houses.”

Back in 2014, Caraway claims a citywide effort removed 250 abandoned homes. Caraway admitted that progress hasn't continued and said this tragedy shows the need to remove even more.

"I am extremely frustrated and we'll come back in with that same level of commitment and this time even with more, we the city will find a way -- where we can eradicate these vacant houses," he said.

First on his list of houses to come down is the house where 13-year-old Shavon Randle died.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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