Britney Hardwick's mother (pictured right), her sister (pictured left) and her five-year-old daughter stand outside the house where Britney was killed on December 16, 2020.

On the morning of December 13th, 2020, Sandra Hardwick recieved a knock on her door and news no mother ever wants to hear. Her daughter, Britney Hardwick, was shot and killed at 22 in her car on the east side of Cleveland.  
The night before her death, Britney told her mom she was going out with some friends. “About one o’clock I heard three shots,” Sandra said. “So, I called Britney and the phone rang and went to voicemail, and I never heard from her.” 
The next morning, Britney was found in her car in her boyfriend’s driveway, two streets down from her mother’s house. She had bled out from a gunshot wound to her neck.  
Britney’s daughter, Justice, was three at the time of her mother’s death. 
“I think Britney comes to see Justice all the time,” Sandra said. “She tells me sometimes that her mother visits her in her dreams.”
Sandra kept almost all of Britney’s old belongings, so one day Justice will be able to go through them, from old school assignments to pictures to clothing. She even kept pants she called her “ugly pants.” 
“I always hated when she wore them when she was alive, because they were so tight with an ugly pattern,” she said. “But I kept them anyways.” 
The boyfriend’s family has since moved out of the neighborhood, and Britney’s case remains unsolved, like many other cases of violence against women in northeast Ohio, according to Sandra. The Hardwick family wants nothing more than justice for Britney. 
“They didn’t fingerprint the car at all,” Sandra said, “and it’s so frustrating because the detective could have done more.” 
“I miss my baby every day.”
A few days before the two-year anniversary of Britney’s death, Britney’s sister gave birth to a baby who she named Jaylynn Britney, in honor of her sister. 
The Hardwick family hopes one day there will be justice for Britney but continue to mourn. “We were all just devastated,” Sandra said. “It’s my baby girl.”

The Hardwick's cat sits outside their house in East Cleveland. Sandra, the mother of Britney Hardwick, lives behind the red door. 

Justice, Britney’s five year old daughter, watches tv at her grandma’s house after getting home from kindergarten on a cold day in December, a few days before the two year anniversary of her mother's death. 

Sandra holds a paper in her hands with Britney’s handwriting on it from when she was in grade school. Behind the paper is a box filled with old papers, cards, and photos, like the one shown saying “mom.”

Sandra holds the last coat Britney wore before she died, which she kept with the last socks Britney wore. She cries as she holds the coat, the emotions of December 2020 coming back to her. 

Sandra smiles at a pair of Britney’s old pants, which she called “her ugly pants.” She said when Britney wore them, she always hated them, but she kept them regardless.

The mantle in Sandra's living room is filled with memories of Britney, including photos and some of her old belongings. 

Sandra's favorite picture of Britney sits next to the purse that was found in the car on the night she died. "I miss my baby every day." Sandra said when while she held the photo. 

Britney's ashes are on the shelf along with the memorial photos, so she is always with Sandra. 

Sandra holds a baby picture of Britney playing in their living room when she was two or three years old. She kept most of Britney’s belongings and photos so one day Justice could look through them.

Sandra calls the detective on Britney's case, but it goes to voicemail. She said she regularly checks in with him to see if there are any updates, but there rarely is. 

Jaylynn Britney, Sandra’s youngest granddaughter, was born just five days before the two year anniversary of Britney’s death.

Every year on the anniversary of Britney's death, Britney's family and friends stand outside the house where she was killed and release balloons in honor of her life. 

Back to Top