Community mourns child who died in accidental hanging

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - How an 11-year-old girl died is shocking; an accidental hanging. It happened New Year's Eve in Richmond's Gilpin Court.

Friday night a community paid tribute as questions remain unanswered about the tragedy. More than 100 people came out in support of the child's mom including Tyra Garrison's classmates.

One after another, fifth graders from Clark Springs Elementary School, sobbing from their heartache, hugged Elaine Garrison, Tyra's mom.

"Tyra we were like a family and we all loved Tyra," said Octevia Torian,Tyra's fifth grade teacher.

Tyra's classmates expressed their love and sorrow through handmade cards.

"She was loveable. They're going to miss her," said Torian.

The 11-year-old died New Year's Eve from an accidental hanging. Richmond police will only say it's neither suspicious nor a suicide.

"Some of these young parents need to watch over their kids more and see what's going on in their lives. It's a real big tragedy what's happened," said family friend, April Jones.

Relatives did not want to discuss the circumstances. On this cold night, they hey focused on consoling a grieving mother. At such a young age, Tyra touched many hearts from her mentor.

"Although I saw her  once a week her smile filled my heart with warmth and I can't express how much we'll miss her," said Sabrina Recabarren.

To her best friend in school.

"She was a truthful friend. She wouldn't lie. She was smart," said 10 year old Charle Brigham.

Richmond Schools Superintendent assured Elaine Garrison she wasn't alone.

"Know that we are only a step away," said Dr. Yvonne Brandon.

Funeral arrangements are not set in stone. Tyra's mom can't afford it. A collection bucket circulated the crowd. But it's a hardship that can't compare to the loss of a child. Police are still investigating Tyra's death.

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