TUOLUMNE COUNTY -- Everyone who knew La’Rayah Davis describes her as a joyful girl who loved spending time with her dad in Sonora.
They remember her dad counting down the days until he was reunited with his daughter.
But now, he’s left planning her funeral.
“It’s disgusting and it’s heartbreaking,” said Mallay Crownove.
Balloons flew high and candles were spread out to form the initials “LD” on the ground at the Heaven for Kids Playground as dozens grieved for 5-year-old La’Rayah at Saturday night’s vigil.
“I’m hurt,” La'Rayah's uncle, Shahaun Davis expressed.
La’Rayah, who is described by loved ones as a bright and shining star, tragically lost her life Tuesday.
“Anytime you take her anywhere she’d just bring joy. Joy to the party, just make people smile,” Micheal Cambra said.
The 5-year-old was found unresponsive in a Las Vegas apartment.
Police say she had bruising on her legs, torso and abdomen, along with internal injuries.
La’Rayahs mother, Amy Taylor and former NFL running back Cierre Wood, now face charges in her murder.
“You never, ever imagine that a parent can do something like this, to their own child,” Crownover said.
Despite her tragic death, many in the Sonora community are remembering how she lived, while supporting her biological father who is overcome with grief over the loss of his only daughter.
“Staying with him lifting him up, letting him know that his family isn’t gone,” Crownover said.
As they remember La’Rayahs impact in her short time here on earth, they’re praying for justice in her untimely death.
“It’s such a shame that’s she’s not going to be able to share that joy with anyone anymore and she deserved that,” Crownover said.
Friends are raising money through GoFundMe to bring La’Rayah’s body home to Sonora and to begin planning her funeral services.