WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly 100 people gathered Saturday night in White Cloud for a candle light vigil for 4-month-old Natallya Rich.
“Tonight is just celebrating the life, the short life that she did have in the world and how many lives she touched,” said Natallya’s mom, Brittany Rich.
Baby Natallya was just four months old when she was found dead Tuesday night in the basement of the house she called home. She had been missing since Saturday.
“It’s all hard. I lost everything,” said Brittany.
According to court documents, her father, Matthew Bradley, told police he took a nap that day and when he woke up, she was dead. He then told Natallya’s mother he was taking her to his sister’s house, instead he placed her in the basement of the home where she was found by police Tuesday night.
“I’m happy because of all the support I have. I’m sad because this never should have happened to my beautiful baby. We are celebrating her life today. We are celebrating her beauty, her innocence,” said Brittany.
And while many questions surrounding her death still remain, the focus Saturday was not on those unanswered questions but rather the celebration of the short life of Natallya.
“She smiled, she would have bubbles all the time come out of her mouth. I would sit there and hold her and talk to her. She would baby talk back to me and just smile and laugh. I’m going to miss it all,” said Brittany.
An autopsy has been performed, but the results are not complete as of Saturday night.
Though her days on this Earth were not many, the impact she has left behind clearly is great.
“Just smile down on us. Let your beauty shine. You are God’s angel now. She is one of the best he is ever going to have,” said Brittany.
A moving moment occurred Saturday night when Bradley’s family was gathered at the end of the street and Natallya’s grandmother, Heidi Thill, walked down to his family, inviting them to join everyone at the vigil.
Natallya’s mom said just because Bradley did something wrong doesn’t mean Bradley’s family had to suffer as well.
“She was beautiful and she was such a good baby.”