This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.
Destiny Alexis Mills was a 20-year-old social butterfly with an outgoing, bubbly personality, and charming wit.
But on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, Destiny was shot in the chest at the Albright Apartments in Trotwood, Ohio. Her murder has never been solved.
Destiny was born on Monday, December 19, 1994, and she grew up in Dayton, Ohio. She loved going to the beach and water parks with her cousin Danielle Jones.
“Destiny loved heights, but I was afraid of them,” Danielle said. “She always tried to get me to go and I would always tell her, ‘No I’ll pass.”’
As a teenager, Destiny attended Northridge High and Wayne High in Ohio. She made the most of her time in school, making good grades to get on the honor roll and making lots of friends.
“She was the center of attention and had the ability to make anyone feel good about themselves,” said Danielle. Everyone who met her loved her.
“She was a sport-aholic,” Danielle recalled.
Destiny was a competitive child growing up. She first discovered the game of soccer at the age of three and would play for most of her life.
“Of my five children, Destiny was the one that wanted to participate in almost every activity,” her mother Linda Walker said.
“She kept me very busy,” she laughed.
Destiny was on the winning soccer team every year. She worked hard and her love of the sport was evident. She always dreamed of playing collegiately at the University of Dayton. Destiny’s high school coach would often take her to watch the Flyers matches.
“I miss those moments so much,” Linda recalled. “The memories I have of that time are the best.”
Destiny didn’t leave all her competitive nature on the soccer pitch. She also ran track, was on the dance team, and was even a cheerleader.
“There was nothing she wouldn’t try,” her mother stated. “And she did great at everything.”
Today, the trophies, ribbons, and awards that Destiny earned during her athletic career are still on display in Linda’s home.
When she wasn’t playing sports, Destiny was fascinated with fashion.
“She was unique in what she wore and could take any piece of clothing and turn it into a fashion creation,” Linda stated.
Destiny wanted to study fashion design in school and one day produce her own clothing line. She planned on taking classes at Wright State University in Dayton with the hopes to one day reach that dream.
The ever-talented Destiny also loved music. She would often write songs during her downtime.
“She would write songs about anything,” Linda recalled. Destiny found much joy in writing music in all genres, from rap to love songs.
On March 24, 2015, Destiny and her boyfriend were hosting a party at their apartment. Visitors came and went throughout the day. But at some point during the night, someone approached the front door and opened fire. Destiny was struck in the chest.
Around one o’clock in the morning, Linda discovered a strange message.
“Destiny’s boyfriend messaged me on Facebook saying that Destiny had been shot,” she said.
Frantic, she immediately tried locating her daughter but couldn’t. Finally, she learned that Destiny was at the hospital.
But it was too late. By the time Linda arrived, Destiny had died.
“I was numb,” she said, recalling the moment she saw her daughter’s lifeless body in the emergency room.
Danielle recalls standing in shock after learning that Destiny had been killed.
“I kinda remember losing it for a second. I punched a wall and I just dropped,” she recalled. “I remember showing up at my mom’s house and it’s kind of blank in between.”
Destiny’s death changed her family forever.
“I don’t even celebrate Christmas anymore,” her mother stated. Destiny always loved celebrating during the holiday seasons.
On the anniversary of her death and on December 19, Destiny’s birthday, the family comes together. They remember her by sending off balloons into the sky to remember the beautiful soul that Destiny was.
The family wants justice for Destiny. “But we’ve always thought ‘When are we going to get justice? Are we going to have to wait till we’re all dead to talk to her?”’ Danielle said.
If Destiny were here today, her family thinks she would have kids. “She always wanted kids,” Danielle said.
“She wanted boys, specifically. She always wanted a boy.”
The time since Destiny’s death has been difficult on those who knew her. Destiny’s friends continue to post on social media about missing her, Linda said.
But more lives have unfortunately been lost in their area.
“There have been so many lives lost since her death,” Linda said. “These are people that Destiny knew from school or around the neighborhood.”
The loss of life has become the norm. And Linda doesn’t want any of their memories to be forgotten.
“As years have passed, people tend to move on and forget about loved ones,” she said.
Linda continues to keep Destiny’s Facebook profile alive, posting from time to time.
“I just want everyone to know that she did exist.”
If you have any information on the unsolved murder of Destiny Mills, please call the Trotwood Police Department at (937) 854-7200.
Research & Impact
Experts claim that a majority of cold cases are resolved due to a change in relationship. Cases go cold for a reason and one of the best avenues to creating new leads is for those in the community to come forward with information. Whether a person was dating or friends with the potential suspect at the time, found religion, has a heavy conscience, overcame addiction – people change over time, and sometimes that’s all it takes for law enforcement to solve a cold case. Those individuals may now be willing to come forward. We hope to reach them.
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