Killing "Wasn't Over Laundry": Cousin on Oakland Teen's Death | NBC Bay Area
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Killing "Wasn't Over Laundry": Cousin on Oakland Teen's Death



    (Published Friday, Jan. 24, 2014)

    As Oakland police continue to search for a 14-year-old brother whom they suspect of killing his 17-year-old sister, a cousin disputed media accounts that the fight leading up to the Thursday death was over bleached laundry.

    Speaking to NBC Bay Area on Friday, Greg Stewart acknowledged he didn't know why Justice Toliver was killed about 12:15 p.m. in the family's apartment on the 800 block of Franklin Street in the city's Chinatown district.

    "What I know is that it wasn’t over laundry," Stewart said.

    Several media outlets had reported that the dispute leading up to the killing was because Mario Toliver Jr. was mad at his sister for bleaching his clothes. There was indeed a fight before Justice Toliver -- the mother of a 2-year-old daughter -- was found dead. But Stewart said he didn't know what the argument was about.

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    Stewart, who lives two floors up from Justice and Mario, said both teens were stressed. Mario also has a baby, who is about six or seven months old, Stewart said.

    On Friday, Oakland spokeswoman Johnna Watson said officers had not yet found Mario and not recovered a weapon. She did not disclose any type of motive for the homicide.

    “He’s 14 years old. We are treating him as armed and dangerous,” Watson said.

    The 14-year-old is described as a black boy who stands 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes.

    The brother and sister were both dealing with difficult situations, Stewart said, and while they fought like siblings do, they still "loved each other."

    Mario's family has been pleading with him publicly to come home. Stewart wants his younger cousin to know that he's there for him.

    "I love you," Stewart, said. "I wouldn't turn my back on him."

    A $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to Toliver's arrest. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Oakland Police Department.

    The family has set up a donation webpage to raise money for funeral costs. The goal is $10,000.

    NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez and Jean Elle contributed to this story.