Natina Reed’s family seeks police investigation into her death

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This April 29, 2000 file photo originally released by the Disney Channel shows R&B singer Natina Reed of the band Blaque during a concert at the Roxy in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Disney Channel, Carolyn Kaster, file)

This April 29, 2000 file photo originally released by the Disney Channel shows R&B singer Natina Reed of the band Blaque during a concert at the Roxy in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Disney Channel, Carolyn Kaster, file)

ATLANTA – The parents of R&B singer Natina Reed held a media conference Thursday to express their growing unease over the slow pace of the investigation into their daughter’s death.

Speaking at the presser in downtown Atlanta, Reed’s grieving mom, Tamara Goodridge, said police told the family a preliminary report would be available on Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday. They didn’t act as if they were concerned at all, she added.

“The family is trying to heal but they can’t initiate this process until they know what happened to their daughter,” Goodridge’s attorney, Christopher Chestnut, told theGrio in an interview right after the news conference.

Chestnut said they had repeatedly asked Gwinnett County Police Department for basic facts, such as the time of incident, exact location, information about the driver and even Reed’s personal belongings – but their requests were ignored. It was only after he informed police on Thursday morning they’d scheduled a news conference that the report was suddenly released an hour later, he added.

Reed was struck by a vehicle and killed two days shy of her 33rd birthday on Friday night in Georgia. According to the preliminary police report, she was walking in a travel lane of Lawrenceville Highway and was killed by a driver who, according to the report, could not see the singer in the dark.

Other than the driver and a passenger in the car, there do not appear to be any other witnesses. The driver called 911 and Gwinnett County Police have said no charges are expected against the driver.

“The police department has been so evasive in answering even basic questions we will conduct our own independent inquiry to get answers for the family,” said Chestnut.

Following news of Reed’s death, celebrities and fans alike poured out messages of condolence on the Twittersphere. The likes of Monica, Jordin Sparks and Gabrielle Union all paid tribute to the singer, rapper and actress.

At the height of her fame, Reed was a member of the popular Atlanta-based trio Blaque, which had a string of hits in the late 1990s. She was also an actress, appearing in the 2000 cheerleading movie Bring It On, which featured Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union.

Reed was a protégé of the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, a member of the girl group TLC. She is survived by her 10-year-old son, Tren Brown, from her relationship with the rapper Kurupt.

At the time of her death, Reed was busy revamping her career, including working on a solo rap album and reunion with fellow members of Blaque. The trio was also working on a reality TV series.

Reed’s funeral will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Abundant Life Church in Lithonia, Georgia. The family said it is open to the public and to the media so her fans can pay their respects.

TheGrio contacted Gwinnett County Police but they were unavailable to give a response. According to some online reports, though, police have said they did not hold back any information.

Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter at @Kunbiti