On November 28th, 2017 my life was flipped completely upside down. It was bedtime at our home. We were getting my two children (ages 5 and 3 at the time) and Jalen’s son (age 2 at the time) ready for bed. We had been at a Christmas event at my children’s school that night and everyone was pretty tired. I listened to a voicemail from a client and realized that he was pretty upset and I needed to give him a call back. This was around 8:15pm. I went to my room and got comfortable and sat down to call him. We talked somewhere between 10-15 minutes. I didn’t leave our room after that. Jalen had said everyone was in bed and was putting away some laundry.
Around 9:00pm, Jalen ran into our room holding my lifeless daughter in his arms. It is truly a moment that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I was so confused. I was in shock. We both grabbed our phones to call 911. His went through first and I hung mine up and called my mom. My sister answered my moms phone and I told them Jayda wasn’t breathing and to meet us at the hospital. I remember just yelling her name over and over and begging her to breathe. After a few minutes of CPR, we realized she was breathing again but she was still completely unconscious.
The ambulance finally arrived and they worked on her for what seemed like forever and then took her to the hospital. We were told she was gravely ill and that I had a very sick little girl that needed to be transported to Kansas City right away. I was still in so much shock. She was perfectly fine the last time I laid eyes on her. Unfortunately I was over the weight limit to ride with her. I stayed until she left in the plane.
When I got to Kansas City I could immediately tell things were not good. I was greeted by a chaplain and almost passed out right there. I flashed back to my Poppie passing away and that was the moment I knew things weren’t good. When they brought the chaplain out.
We spent the next couple of days with her fighting. We were being told very conflicting things. We were told “something had to of happened” by one doctor. When asked what that meant repeatedly, I was given no answers. We were told she had extreme swelling and no real point of injury or anything like that from another doctor. This went on for a couple days. I begged Jalen to tell me if something had happened. He kept saying no and frankly, I had no reason not to believe him. I hadn’t even ever seen him yell at the kids or myself, let alone get physical. Ultimately we were told only her autopsy would determine what caused her death. On December 1st, she was declared brain dead. I still want to throw up when I hear the words “time of death ____”. Another moment I’ll never forget.
We were at the hospital until December 3rd when they took her back for her surgery to donate her organs. I went home and slept for two days. I was numb. I was exhausted. I was confused. It was just absolutely awful. On December 6th I was picked up to be taken to be given an update on my daughters case. I was relieved. I thought I’d finally get an answer as to what was wrong and be able to process her death. Instead, I was informed that my daughter had been assaulted and had been murdered. I was interrogated and grilled for awhile. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what Jalen had done. I had grieved for 8 days at the hands of the man that murdered my daughter.
What I didn’t know, is Jalen was brought in as well shortly after me and informed of the autopsy and also questioned. He ended up asking for a pen and paper to write out what happened. He showed with a doll exactly how he threw her around. He marked on pictures of her room exactly where he threw her tiny body. It was detailed and it was devastating. He said he snapped. His description of what he did matched her injuries perfectly. He was arrested for her murder at the end of that interview. On January 3rd, 2019 Jalen plead guilty to murdering my sweet Jayda. He was sentenced to 22 years.
This event in my life is the focus of wanting to blog. My hope is that I can share our journey and it can help others. It’s honestly still surreal to tell this story and accept it’s mine. I miss my girl terribly and still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that she’s gone. 💔