By Peter D'Oench

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A grieving mother is appealing for the public’s help after her 3-year-old son was shot and killed at a birthday party. Now, the reward in the case has been increased to $67,500.

Speaking at Miami-Dade Police headquarters, the mother Terrissa Barron told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “On April 24th, lost my baby. I lost someone I will never get back. My family can’t sleep at night. We can’t eat. His last words were Mommy and I couldn’t do anything. Please say something. Anything. Please say something and come forward.”

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Her son Elijah LaFrance was standing near the entrance of a door at AIR BNB that had been rented for the birthday party for two people including Elijah.

Miami-Dade Police say it was around 8 at night. His parents and family members were cleaning up the front yard. Police say that’s when unidentified suspects with semi-automatic weapons including rifles approached the people at the party and opened fire.

It happened at N.E. 158th Street and Miami Avenue.

LaFrance was transported to a hospital but did not survive. Miami-Dade Police found 60 shell casings at the scene. They have not said if they have any suspects or who was being targeted and have not released any information so far about suspects.

His mother said “He was only 3 years old. He died 4 days before his birthday. I didn’t get to see my baby grow up or go to elementary school or middle school or high school or the prom.”

LaFrance’s cousin Amanda Etienne said “This was a 3-year old whose life was cut short. I know there is a code about no snitching but this is not about a code. His life was cut short and people should come forward.”

Lead detective Kevin Thelwell agreed.

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“In the black community there is a thing about not snitching,” he said. “We need to stop this. This was a 3-year-old child.”

Thelwell said there was a very active investigation.

Miami-Dade Police also said they were looking at surveillance tape.

This case is a priority for the department.

Director Freddy Ramirez said, “To show you what is happening, we are coming for you. Just listen to what the Mom said. We need to solve this so that there can be justice in the community.”

The reward is one of the highest to be offered in such a case by Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers.

The Florida Sheriffs Association contributed $5,000 to the reward, as did Crime Stoppers and Miami-Dade Police. ATF chipped in $10,000. Miami-Dade Commissioners added $27,500. And there was an anonymous donation of $15,000.

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Anyone with information that can help should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477).

Peter D'Oench