Child's heart donated to Texan
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 12:00 AM
Three-year-old Kayzlyn Sanae Thomas was missing two front teeth and had a big, beautiful smile, her grandmother said. She never met a stranger, loved playing dress-up and going to McDonalds to play.
Philadelphia police are providing few details about the circumstances surrounding the hit-and-run accident in the parking lot of a west Philadelphia shopping center Dec. 5 that ultimately claimed Kayzlyn's life last week. An Attala County woman came forward the day after Kayzlyn died.
Kayzlyn's organs were donated and her heart went to an 11-month-old in Texas, her grandmother said.
Police won't say if the SUV that struck Kayzlyn was passing through the parking lot, traveling in between rows or backing up.
A person familiar with the family of the woman driving the SUV said she felt a bump, got out, looked around but didn't see anything.
The source said, and the authorities confirm, that days later the woman heard about the incident in the news, realized she had apparently struck the child and went to police.
Philadelphia Police Investigator Marsha Bavetta would not comment on the actual location of where the child was struck or if the incident was captured on surveillance video.
"The investigation is ongoing. I can't comment until we complete the investigation," she said.
No charges have been filed in connection with the death.
District Attorney Mark Duncan said the investigation remains ongoing.
"It has not been completed," he said. "There have been no charges filed at this time."
Bavetta said the driver is "being very cooperative. We are working with the District Attorney."
Kayzlyn of the Conehatta community died about 10 a.m. last Wednesday in University Medical Center in Jackson.
She is the daughter of Skyler Cheyenne Lewis and Keantray Lerrell Thomas.
Kayzlyn was struck by a dark Trailblazer in the Gamestop parking lot off south Lewis Avenue at 5:40 p.m., Dec. 5, Bavetta said.
Police initially said the girl was walking with her parents when the vehicle came through.
The child was transported to Neshoba County General Hospital by the parents before being airlifted to the University Medical Center in Jackson.
Family members and friends of the child gathered for a candlelight memorial Thursday evening near the site where she was struck.
Services were held Monday at 10 a.m. from Conehatta Gym.
Grandmother Karen Thomas said Kayzlyn was her little sister's keeper.
She loved her sister, Kalieya, who is 2, she said.
One to never meet a stranger, Kayzlyn loved going places especially to McDonalds and Gigi's Cupcakes.
"She had a big beautiful smile with two front teeth missing," Thomas said. "I'm trying to be strong for everybody but at times I can't because she was too young to go. Not only that, I love my grandkids. I had seven with her. Now it is down to six."
Staff reporter Steven Thomas contributed to this article