'Our family lost a loving gem': Mother of Nikia Rogers speaks out as police search for her suspected killer

NOW: ’Our family lost a loving gem’: Mother of Nikia Rogers speaks out as police search for her suspected killer

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The mother of Nikia Rogers, a 36-year-old woman found dead during a house fire last week, is speaking out for the first time. The suspect was Rogers' boyfriend, Ernest Terrell Blakney.

A warrant has been issued for Blakney's arrest. Authorities say he may be driving a stolen, blue Chevy Silverado 2500 HD pickup truck with the Wisconsin plate number DH21644 and a Zignego logo on two rear windows.

"Our family lost a loving gem, she was a happy person, she was a loving person. Always wanted to celebrate no matter what," said Angela Burl, mother of Nikia Rogers.

According to a criminal complaint, officers responded to a house fire at 83rd and Vienna just before 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 25 and located one deceased victim, later identified as Rogers, on the second floor of the residence. An investigation revealed Rogers sustained a gunshot wound to the head.

Burl said Rogers had told her she was leaving the relationship between Blakney three weeks prior to her death.

"I did ask her, 'do you think he'd harm you?' She said, 'I don't think he'll harm me, I'm OK mom I'm OK,'" said Burl.

The mother said she believes her daughter's death could have been prevented.

Court records show Blakney was out on bond after being charged with the felony offense of second degree sexual assault of a child in 2021. Blakney posted $5,000 cash bail in November, and on Aug. 15, 2022, pleaded guilty.

Court documents show prosecutors requested Blakney be put back in custody, but the court denied the motion.

CBS 58 reached out to the judge in the case, David Borowski, and he said per Supreme Court rules, he's not allowed to comment on a pending case.

A sentencing date was set for Oct. 20, 2022.

Blakney faces the following charges:

  • First degree reckless homicide
  • Attempt mutilating a corpse
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Bail jumping
  • False imprisonment
  • Armed robbery

Anyone with information is asked to contact Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS or P3 Tips App to remain anonymous.

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