SONORA — Former NFL football running back Cierre Wood was arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of child abuse Wednesday, and now faces murder charges after the 5-year-old girl died.
“I never thought I’d bury my child at 5 years old,” Danuan Davis, the girl’s father, said.
The news of La’Rayah Davis’s death has shocked everyone who knew the young girl and her family in Sonora.
“I have no words to explain how much pain he had in his heart,” Norton Terzich, a friend of Davis, told FOX40.
Terzich found out Tuesday night that La’Rayah lost her life allegedly at the hands of her mother Amy Taylor and Wood.
“I just broke down, because that’s literally my niece,” Terzich said. “(Davis) stayed at my dad’s house. We’ve grown up with each other.”
In addition to the murder charge Wood faces, Taylor is facing a child abuse charge.
In court, Davis said there were warning signs.
“Every time I picked her the last few months she was afraid to go home,” he said.
La’Rayah was found unresponsive at a Las Vegas apartment complex. She was taken to the hospital where detectives say she had bruising to her torso, legs and abdomen. An autopsy revealed internal injuries.
“I still can’t imagine what the heck went through their minds at the time things happened,” Terzich said. “I don’t get how they could do that to an innocent girl so full of life.”
Davis’s friends started a GoFundMe campaign to bring La’Rayah home.
As Terzich is mourning the loss of a little girl so full of life, he’s praying for the girl’s dad.
“That he keeps his mind right and looks forward to things, instead of putting himself down because it’s nowhere in his hands,” he said.
A vigil for La’Rayah will be held Saturday afternoon at the Heaven for Kids park in Sonora.