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Funeral held for 4-year-old girl who was left to drown in river, officials say

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - They are calling her an angel.

The family and friends of 4-year-old Je’Hyrah Daniels wore white to her funeral on Saturday afternoon. Daniels died after officials say her mother left her to drown in the Hillsborough River.

The constant rain seemed to match the constant sadness surrounding the service.

“I cried for like a whole week,” says a friend of the family, Erica Lucas. “I still cannot stop. She was an angel.”

Daniels is lying in a casket. Her mother, who is accused of murdering her, is sitting in jail.

“It was a shock. It was a total shock,” Lucas tells us.

Ellis Daniley traveled to the funeral from Orlando. He is a cousin of the mother, Shakayla Denson.

“Kayla, she was a good girl. Her mom and the family is real, has a lot of faith in god and stuff like that, we just, this is just, I really don't have any words for it,” says Daniley struggling to put his feelings into words.

He tells us Denson does not understand what she is accused of doing to her daughter.

“Just to let you know,” he says, “she really does not know what happened, you know, she is really, in her mind, she is emotionally sick right now. She don't understand what is going on right now.”

The same cannot be said for the dozens of people who attended the funeral. They know the situation and they are trying to handle it together.

“This is my family and I am here to support my family,” Daniley tells us. “I am here to support Kayla. I am here to support everyone who had to go through this.”


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