SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Best Buy is offering a $10,000 reward for direct information assisting in locating a missing two-year-old girl.
San Francisco police held a news conference Wednesday afternoon on their investigation into the disappearance of two-year-old Arianna Fitts and the killing of her mother Nicole, who was found murdered in McLaren Park.
Nicole worked at Best Buy. A Best Buy employee spoke at the news conference saying, "As we continue to mourn the loss of our friend and colleague Nicole we are still hopeful Ariana will be found safely... we hope that by offering a reward we can bring the person responsible to justice and begin to heal."
On Tuesday, KTVU learned police have zeroed in on three people as part of their investigation.
KTVU tracked down two of those persons of interest.
We also met with Nicole's two sisters, who visited the shallow grave where their sister's body was dumped in early April.
"It's heartbreaking, it's unbelievable," cried Contessa Fitts, as she choked back sobs and wiped away tears. "I don't know how anyone could do this to her. [Her murder has] been almost unbearable."
Contessa, her partner Claire Bonnar and Nicole's sister Kathryn Foxx hugged each other as they gazed at the hole hidden between a cluster of trees, next to a children's park.
SF Rec and Park workers found Nicole's body stuffed into the hole, curled in the fetal position, April 8th. It was concealed under a piece of large piece of plywood with gray and white spray painted markings on it.
"I had no idea it would be so close to people," said Clair Bonnar. "It's unfathomable it really is... it's just awful."
The trio told KTVU that Nicole was a generous and loving mother to 2-year-old Arianna who disappeared early February. Friends say Nicole, an employee at Best Buy, was struggling to make ends meet so she left her daughter in the care of her friend and Uber driver, Ciolo Hearne. We tried to talk Hearne today at her Emeryville home, but were told she was at work. However, her silver Hyundai Sonata was parked in the driveway.
"Siolo must be devastated [about Arianna's disappearance] since she knew the little girl," KTVU reporter Tara Moriarty told Hearne's roommate, David Wilcox. "She really hasn't talked about it at all," he said.
Friends say Hearne gave Arianna to her sister Helena Martin and her husband Devin Martin, who live in Oakland on Castro Street. Nicole's roommate has said that the Martins wouldn't allow Nicole to see her daughter in the weeks leading up to her death.
KTVU caught up with the Martins Tuesday afternoon as they left their apartment building. "Devon Martin, could I talk to you for a second about Arianna and Nicole Fitts?" asked reporter Tara Moriarty as the two scrambled to their car this afternoon with two children in tow. "We understand [Arianna] was last seen with you?" The Martins refused to talk. Police say they and Hearne have not cooperated with the investigation and have provided inconsistent statements.
In fact, they've hired Oakland criminal attorney, Darryl Stallworth, whom we spoke to three weeks ago. "If these people were the last known people who had contact with her," asked Moriarty, "why wouldn't they be forthcoming with everybody about that information? It kind of just doesn't add up." Stallworth responded saying,
"Well we're making the assumption that they were the last people that had contact with the little girl and I don't know that to be the case."
While the Martins and Hearne haven't been named suspects officially, Helena told a neighbor she's being targeted unfairly because she has a criminal record. Helena Martin served six years in prison back in 2001 for killing the father of her child.
Meanwhile, the Fitts family held a funeral for Nicole this past weekend in Marina del Rey, CA, scattering her ashes at sea. She leaves behind another daughter, 12 year old Sendy, who is staying with family in Southern California. Today, as Contessa, Kathryn and Claire stare at the hole in McLaren Park, they still can't believe someone would kill Nicole. "You have to be pretty cold to do something like this," said Contessa.
"There's no reason for her not to see her kids' birthdays, be there for us, there's no reason," said Bonnar.
While Nicole is gone, her sisters say they are holding out that Arianna is still alive.
"She belongs home here with us, her mom's gone. She needs to be at home, " said Contessa.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the San Francisco Police Department.