Jania Tatum-Scott was a 15-year-old Sterling High School sophomore who was found dead in Tejas Park in Baytown, Texas, on December 28, 2021. Tatum-Scott, a track and field athlete, was shot and killed in the park located across the street from her mother’s apartment, her mother said on GoFundMe.
Tatum-Scott’s mother, Angie Scott, wrote on the GoFundMe campaign page, “On the early morning of December 28, 2021 Jania was found deceased from a gunshot wound in her favorite park across the street from my apartment. … . She had many friends and she was loved by everyone including her teachers, coaches and the admin staff. This has devastated my family and the city of Baytown.”
The Baytown Police Department have released few details about Tatum-Scott’s death but said they are investigating it as a homicide. Her mother told ABC 13 News she thinks her daughter left their apartment to meet someone sometime after 11 p.m. on Monday, December 27. She left behind a half-empty plate of food, her mother told the news station.
Follow the Heavy on Houston Facebook page for the latest Houston news and more.
Jania Tatum-Scott Planned to Joined the Navy, Her Mother Said
Jania Tatum-Scott was found dead the morning of Tuesday, December 28, 2021, about 8:30 a.m., in Tejas Park on Hafer Avenue, according to Baytown Police. She had been shot in the chest, police and her mother say. It is not yet known exactly when she was killed. No one has been arrested.
Tatum-Scott’s mother told ABC 13, “They took my best friend from me. They took my best friend from me. Literally, that was my best friend. She was going to the military. She was going to go to the Navy for nursing. She can’t do that now. My daughter was well-known around Baytown. Everybody loved her. Nobody is doing good right now. I’m not doing good. I don’t know if I’m going to ever be good about this.”
Tatum-Scott was a cross country and track and field athlete at Sterling High School in Baytown, part of the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, according to Athletic.net. In March 2021, the school posted a video on Twitter of Tatum-Scott winning first place in the high jump during her freshman year.
According to her Facebook page, Tatum-Scott was also a gymnast. In November, she posted photos with her mother on Facebook and wrote in the caption, “my whole heart 🫀.”
Baytown Police Have Asked for the Public’s Help in Finding Tatum-Scott’s Killer
Baytown Police Chief John Stringer told reporters, “The officers and detectives are actively investigating this case and will work to ensure that the offender is brought to justice. We will partner with our citizens and area law enforcement to ensure this crime is resolved and we advocate for the victim.”
Stringer said the investigation into Tatum-Scott’s death is continuing and has been ruled a homicide. Police have not released any additional information about her death. The Baytown Police Department has asked anyone with information to call detectives at 281-422-8371. Tips can also be made anonymously to the Baytown Crime Stoppers at 281-427-8477 (TIPS).
Stringer told ABC 13, “There’s no piece of information that’s too small that might not help us with this case.” The Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District said it will have counselors on hand when students return to school in January, according to the news station.