GoFundMe Launched for Toddler Killed in Tuscaloosa
UPDATE 6:30 P.M.: The GoFundMe has exceeded its goal and has raised a total of $8,580 with 340 donations.
A GoFundMe has been launched to help with the funeral expenses of the toddler police say died at the hand of her mother's boyfriend in Tuscaloosa Friday morning.
Raylean Richardson, only 18 months old, died at DCH Regional Medical Center Friday afternoon. Captain Jack Kennedy, commander of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit, said police first received word of Raylean's condition when she was first brought to DCH at approximately 3 a.m. Friday for trouble breathing.
She was still alive, but police quickly began an investigation once they determined her injuries were suspicious. After life-saving efforts at the hospital failed, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office and DCH worked to expedite an autopsy with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery.
Officials determined that Raylean's death was caused by extensive internal injuries stemming from physical abuse.
“We are truly going to miss our Raylean,” her aunt Takiya Richardson wrote in the fundraiser. “She was taken from us so soon.”
After collecting evidence at the mother's home in the Hay Court housing complex, and interviewing multiple witnesses including the toddler's mother and family members, investigators obtained a warrant for the mother's boyfriend, Joseph Earl Jenkins, 28.
Jenkins was charged with Capital Murder, but Kennedy said more charges may follow as the investigation continues. He said investigators are also looking into the treatment of Raylean's mother as well as the other children that were in the house, who have since been removed.
Any funds raised will go towards funeral expenses for Raylean.
As of publishing, the GoFundMe has raised $390 and has a goal of $8,000. To view the campaign page or donate to the fund, click here.