BUFFALO, Mo. — Toni Robertson had no other way to describe her current situation.
“It’s the worst thing that has ever happened to my family,” Robertson said.
Authorities say Robertson’s great-niece Kinzlea Kilgore, 2, was pronounced dead after she was transported from a home in Buffalo to a Springfield hospital early Sunday morning.
The coroner called the death suspicious.
Then on Wednesday, Buffalo police say Kinzlea’s mother, 25-year-old Sierra Barrett, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
“How could anybody do that to a child? To a baby? To anybody?” Robertson asked. “I don’t understand.”
Police said Wednesday morning they had other “persons of interest” in the case.
Robertson declined to talk about the specifics of the case since it is still under investigation.
She said her focus now is on laying Kinzlea to rest.
“Our lives will never be the same,” Robertson said. “Our hearts are broken. She was our pride and joy.”
Robertson said Kinzlea was only 2 years old, but she had already developed a big personality.
The girl loved music and had an uncanny ability to remember everyone’s name.
“She was always happy, smiling,” Robertson said. “She loved to sing. She loved to dance. She was very bright.”
Police say they were dispatched to a home in the 600 block of East Main Street in Buffalo early Sunday morning for a medical emergency.
Kinzlea was transported from the home to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Buffalo Police Department at 417-345-2709.
(Read the original story shared by the Springfield News-Leader here.)