By Elizabeth Matthews
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KSDK) - It's been almost one year since former SLU volleyball star Megan Boken was killed in the Central West End.
Police say Boken was killed for her cell phone. Now her family and friends are on a mission to stop crimes like these and protect other potential victims.
Friends and family say they still struggle with the loss and with the reason why Megan Boken was killed.
"She's not alive for that, it's hard, for a few hundred bucks," says Sarah Entzeroth, Boken's friend.
It was a shocking crime when it happened. Police say two men, Keith Esters and Johnathan Perkins, approached Boken while she was sitting in her car. Police say they were after her cell phone and then they shot her. Perkins and Esters were eventually arrested and charged with Boken's murder.
"I was with her until about three minutes before it happened, we walked to our separate cars, I am sure I was on my phone too," says Entzeroth.
"If a stolen cell phone was worthless, there would be no reason to steal one."
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch says there is technology that phone manufacturers can install in cell phones referred to as a "kill switch" that would make the phone worthless if stolen.
"We truly believe they have the resources and the technology to do this, but you have to wonder sometimes is there a financial incentive not to do it," says Chief Fitch.
He says in one year, 38 percent of robberies in St. Louis County were for cell phones.
"We can't ignore that and we need to continue to demand that these companies do something about it to stop this," he says.
Now Entzeroth, other friends and family are on a mission for Boken to get as many signatures on a change.org petition, called Secure Our Smartphones. It takes a few minutes, you plug in your info and electronically sign the petition.
"Every time someone signs the petition, an email is sent to the CEO of these cell phone manufacturers," says Boken's friend Bridget Fonke, who explains that it's no longer just about her friend's story and their grief. "To help yourself kind of, to protect yourself."
Chief Fitch says in the last 30 days there have been two cell phone store robberies where tens of thousands of cell phones were taken. He says putting in kill switches in all phones may stop this.
If you want to sign the petition visit the Secure Our Smartphones site on Change.org.
There will be an free youth volleyball clinic for Megan Boken on August 24. It will be held on the Saint Louis University campus for fourth through eighth graders from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.