The night that changed my entire world

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. 💔

41 thoughts on “The night that changed my entire world

    1. I couldn’t imagine my child’s body rotting in the ground somewhere. My grandfather had been cremated the year prior, and it changed my outlook on cremation. It’s what I prefer after I pass as well. It was also a decision her father and I both made together.

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  1. I don’t know you at all, and actually saw your story through another page I stumbled across. That person was spewing hateful things and it got me curious. From everything I have seen and read, I have no idea how people blame you. I am a total stranger, but can see the love you had for your daughter in your pictures. I am so sorry this has happened to you and your family. I lost my brother to murder, and as tough as that was/is, I could never imagine one of my children. Stay strong and God will handle the rest ❤

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  2. My husband went to school with Judd and I saw this story as soon as everyone started posting their own made up storie’s. I don’t know you, I don’t know Judd but I have defended you from the beginning, as I still do to this day. My own daughter n law in Joplin put up a post for signature’s saying you belong in jail with Jalen..”STUPID!” Uh, hello?!?! He confessed. If he didn’t do it he would’ve taken you down when he had a chance.. I can’t imagine walking through the hell you’ve walking through. I’m a crazy momma bear and I’d grieve myself to death, after I gave the naysayer’s an ear full. Mess with Momma’s Cub’s and we “WILL” have a problem.
    You have had every person around pointing finger’s at you, but they were not there. I will NOT lie and say I didn’t have question’s but not blaming you, but asking instead of standing back pointing their finger’s and accusing you of something my heart know’s you had no part in. As for the “HATER’S!” LET EM HATE!! You will grieve this loss for the rest of your life and I’m so sorry that you will have to suffer daily & silently for Q…Keep praying, keep writing, and don’t listen to the nasty people out there that pull answer’s from the behind.. They don’t deserve to know anything!! GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!

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  3. I’m so sorry! You and your family are in my prayers! I’m sickened how people can still blame you 😦
    I’ve been following this story from the beginning. Jayda was such a Beautiful little girl!

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    1. Thank you for bringing this up. This is actually the first time I’ve been able to share my story, which makes it impossible for anyone to even begin to know of any “changes”. Everyone else seemed to have some version of what they think happened, which lack of intelligence can make very confusing when it comes to facts and hearing what actually happened. Have a great night!

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    2. I love how all of the crazy versions of what happened that people literally made up and posted on Facebook somehow became “the truth”. Here is how it worked:

      Conspiracy theorist #1: “She wasn’t in bed, she was in the shower.”

      Conspiracy theorist #2: “She was at the gym. She is on surveillance.”

      Conspiracy theorist #3: “She was out with friends and Jalen was watching the kids”.

      Conspiracy theorist #4: “That crazy bitch can’t even keep her stories straight”.

      Welcome to the underbelly of social media…

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      1. Judd – yes. The actual events and what the parties said happened are all backed up by body cameras, recorded, and video taped interviews. That whole fact thing…..super hard concept for some.

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    3. I am going to pray for you. I pray that God may provide you with some sense that you so clearly lack. Truly you would be a better person if you knew how to be, other than a bored coward who has nothing better else to do with their time than to “anonymously” make such a immature ridiculous false accusation! Grow up! Nobody wants to hear your drama! Own up to what you claim to know, who you are & provide facts or stay out of the blog that you clearly know very little about. God Bless!

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  4. I think you’re so brave for sharing your story with the world! Don’t let anyone’s hate discourage you. You are strong & it’s up to you to live everyday to the fullest for your beautiful little angel!
    God Bless

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  5. Praying for you. Breaks my heart. Thankful for God’s grace and healing. This is YOUR canvas and YOUR story. Your story will touch many hearts and hopefully make a change.

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  6. Obviously you have nothing better to do than to try and make up your own story and try to make her feel guilty. You weren’t there, you don’t have any idea what happened. No one does except them. Get on with your life. Stop judging people and then bring God unto it. Like he gave you His power to judge people. You’re not that special

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  7. I’m so glad you said this because I have felt the same way from the beginning I still do nothing adds up and I think some people can agree why she isn’t behind bars

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  8. Devyn, I’ve wanted to reach out to you for awhile. I didn’t because I figured you had sooo many people giving unwanted opinions, negativity, judgement and falsehoods that you were most likely just done/over hearing from anyone in general. Your daughters story (not a story, your reality and life) touched my heart. I couldn’t get her little smile and face out of my head. From the beginning I’ve followed your reality. When I joined the prayer page I felt something wasn’t right. I prayed heavily for you and Jayda. I never bought in to the witch hunt facebook pages and things I was reading. Something just told me in my gut that you were a momma that had been dealt the worst possible blow from someone you loved and trusted. I’m a momma and a grandma and maybe because I didn’t know you or of you I was able to sit back and say something doesnt add up here…when all the theories were going around. I saw shadows as shadows and couldn’t believe that others didn’t. I saw comments as opinions, rumors and falsehoods with nothing to back them up and couldn’t believe that others didn’t. Anyway I’ve rambled on a bit and just want to say please stay strong for your son. He needs you as much as im sure you need him right now. Yes, Jalens been convicted and you get a bit of closure but it doesnt bring Jayda back. I’m sure thats at the forefront of your pain and reality right now. Guard your heart! You will always carry this pain and loss but don’t carry the weight of the words and thoughts of others. Let that go and focus on the kind of momma and person YOU wanna be for your son and accomplish it. Your daughter will be so proud. Remember, you will be with her again one day.

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  9. Unfortunately so much of this is not true that it would take me too long to pick it apart and respond. I hope that someday you are able to accept the level of evil that can exist in this world even in “just 15 minutes”. Prayers to you. ❤️

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    1. This is a great example to use for a later blog about victim shaming/blaming. How people attack a situation and twist it into whatever they want to make them feel safe. To make it where they’d never be a victim. Making sure to point out how much better they would have done things. I hope someday you’re willing to educate yourself more on the topic.

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  10. I really don’t know exactly what to say, I can’t say I know your pain because, frankly I don’t, my niece was killed by a truck driver, in September & I’ve wanted to reach out to you because you’ve been there, but I’ve always been too afraid! You’re a strong woman, and truly an inspiration, im so sorry this has happened to you! May you find the closure you need so your princess can eternally rest in heaven!

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  11. Hi Devyn, Idk if you remember but we briefly corresponded through messenger a few months ago. Reading through your blog I can see you’ve made a good start. It’s very concise and well written.
    One thing you may consider touching upon is more about that night; more specifically, why you didn’t hear the assault. Reading through the comments on articles that was the main question the majority of the people had. It was also one of the main reasons why people wanted to see you in jail. It’s a fear that many parents harbor- that they won’t hear or know their child is in distress or danger. Its something to consider for a future post.
    My thought on this is not to place blame on you in any way, shape, or form. After doing an (amateur) analysis on the statement released via letter through Jalen’s friend on video I can piece together what happened that night so I know the truth, I believe.
    I look forward to reading more of your posts. Stay strong.

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    1. I do not think there’s a big “why” as to why I didn’t hear anything suspicious. I think the main thing is that I wasn’t sitting there listening for an assault to take place. 1. I think it happened while I was on my phone call. 2. I had 3 toddlers. I wouldn’t have thought twice about hearing noises. 3. The blow to her head would’ve immediately knocked her unconscious. 4. It was a brand new, well insulated home. 5. It was on a concrete slab. I could really go on and on. People really want to think that they’d hear anything and everything in their house and something like this could never happen to them. I understand that. It’s terrifying to accept something like this could happen to anyone at any time. I might do a post about it sometime, but for me personally, it’s a very minor part of everything that has happened. It will probably get touched on through my blogs regarding victim shaming/blaming though.

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    2. I also forgot to mention that Jalen actually said in his confession that he wasn’t really that mad and Jayda was not being mad or upset or anything. That he just snapped. So the way he described it, there wasn’t some big altercation or anything to hear.

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  12. Prayers for you girl! I couldn’t imagine, and all the negativity from people who have no idea what you went through ❤ your strong

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