Loved ones remember WIU freshman after death one year ago

By KENNEDY WILLIAMS, NEWS3 Reporter

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — Loved ones are remembering a Western Illinois University freshman following her death almost one year ago. 

Keishanay Bolden, 18, of Chicago, was fatally shot in her torso in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood, on May 31, 2020, after an argument with a man, according to her mother Crystal Harris.

Harris is still having a tough time coping with her daughter’s death. 

“It’s just hard for me,” Harris said, wiping tears from her eyes. “It’s a lot of hurt people out here.” 

One of Bolden’s biggest goals was to get away from Chicago to move forward in life and make an education for herself, according to her childhood friend, Lechelle Brooks. Bolden majored in law enforcement and justice administration. She was on track to pursue her dream to become a correctional officer or lawyer. She had just completed her freshman year at WIU.  

“She really liked helping people,” Brooks said, remembering her friend. “She dreamed of that since grammar school.”

There is one thing that Harris and Brooks said stuck out about Bolden, her personality.

“Happy, satisfying, loveable,” Harris said. “There was not one thing I didn’t like about her or didn’t love, looking up smiling. She was just an enjoyment to me.” 

“She had her bad days, but it didn’t matter,” Brooks said. “She always knew how to keep a smile on her face.” 

As a young mother, Bolden helped Harris mature.

“Keishanay made me grown before time, like I didn’t have a childhood,” Harris said. “Once I had Keishanay, I became grown, she made me very mature at a young age. I got pregnant with her at 14 and I had her at 15, so that was my best friend, my little sister basically, instead of a daughter.”

Harris said WIU will honor Bolden with a tree in her name.