Family of deceased toddler speaks on grief

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(ABC 6 News) – The family of two-year-old Ahziyas Dampha who died on Thursday in Albert Lea shares how they are dealing with this tragedy.

The mother, Emma Sullivan, says, “There’s not even really words to say.”

Sullivan came home from work early on Thursday after getting text messages from her boyfriend, Austin Navarro, saying Ahziyas fell down the stairs.

She called 911 when she got home and found Ahziyas unresponsive. He was then taken by ambulance to the hospital.

“I was out of the room at the time, but I remember the doctors coming out and telling me the bad news. It’s just hard,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan thanks all of the first responders who helped Ahziyas for their hard work.

Friday morning the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the toddler’s death a homicide.

“I have never felt more hurt, more anger, just appalled, and being hysterical, and trying to be responsible all at the same time in my entire life like this,” said Triena Becker, the boy’s aunt.

Navarro was charged that afternoon with second-degree murder and felony child endangerment.

“I still can’t wrap my head around how you can be a grown man to do something like that to a child who cannot defend himself,” said Becker.

Sullivan describes Ahziyas as the happiest little boy and says he was loving and caring, especially toward his baby brother.

“He could light up the room, just with his presence,” said Sullivan.

The family is hosting a vigil Sunday at 8 p.m. at Edgewater Park by the dock. Anyone in the community who wishes to attend is invited.

Ahziyas’ father’s side of the family started a fundraiser to help the boy’s grandmother travel from Texas to the funeral. Click here

Becker also created a fundraiser for Sullivan to help with the funeral costs, and to get her and her infant son through this difficult time. Click here

The family can also be supported by purchasing T-shirts, tote bags, and other apparel dedicated to Ahziyas here.