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Two years later, no answers for widow in North Philly slaying

It's been two years since Keyna Drinks' husband was slain, and she's frustrated that his killers are no closer to justice.

Keyna Drinks, whose husband, Kevin Drinks, was shot to death in Dec. 2011, in  (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)
Keyna Drinks, whose husband, Kevin Drinks, was shot to death in Dec. 2011, in (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)Read more

SLEEP DOESN'T come easy for Keyna Drinks, but when it does, all she sees is her husband.

To hear her tell it, Kevin Drinks was a loving, God-fearing man - someone about whom no one had anything negative to say.

Which is why, two years after he was shot dead, she's so frustrated that police still don't know who killed him, or why.

"My biggest fear is that this case has gone ice cold, that we'll never find justice," she said yesterday.

Kevin Drinks was gunned down Dec. 10, 2011, four days after he started a new job as a delivery driver for Underground Market Furniture in North Philadelphia. According to police, Drinks, 50, was parked behind the store on Watts Street near Girard Avenue when he was shot three times just before 6:30 p.m. He died at the hospital not long after.

Tasha Jamerson, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said yesterday that "homicide investigators are still actively looking for the person or people responsible" for Drinks' death.

But the man's widow isn't satisfied with that response.

"I have the utmost respect for the police, and I know they're overwhelmed with murder cases," she said. "But when all I ever hear is that they have no leads, I can't help but wonder if his case is really being worked on."

In the first year after her husband's slaying, Drinks said, she was "filled with faith." She called the police so often she was on a first-name basis with the detective assigned to the case. She pounded the pavement in the area where the shooting occurred, passing out fliers and buttons and T-shirts calling for "Justice for Kevin Drinks."

She called upon state Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, who organized a vigil and news conference about a month after Kevin's death.

"We all must begin to take ownership and responsibility in our communities and stand up against the lawless element that's committing the crime," Thomas said at that vigil. "What happened to Kevin Drinks could happen to any one of us."

Keyna Drinks did all of this for the man who took her to her senior prom at Germantown High. The man who sang in a gospel choir and loved spending time with his three daughters and five grandkids. The man who detectives told her didn't seem to have any enemies or a clear reason to be slain in cold blood.

Now, Keyna Drinks calls police less frequently - and said that she's met with a "patronizing attitude" when she does call.

"I'm not bashing them. I'm just disappointed," she said. "Why don't they have anything? Why is it so hard to find answers?"

Drinks said she was somewhat discouraged to see how quickly police caught the killer of Officer Moses Walker Jr., who was gunned down eight months after her husband. Walker's killer was arrested about a week after his shooting.

"Killing an officer is the highest level of disrespect. I understand that," she said. "But if the department and [Fraternal Order of Police] were willing to go all out and pull every stop to find someone who shot one of their own, why couldn't they do that for Kevin?

"I want justice for every murder victim in the city," she said. "If you take an oath to protect us, you should treat us the same as you would another officer."