The voice of a 3-year-old girl is streaming through her family's minds as they try to make sense of the violence police say she went through.
The little girl named Emma passed away Wednesday evening. Family members asked Eyewitness News to only identify her by her first name.
Police arrested Emma's mother and mother's boyfriend for child abuse and aggravated child endangerment. Since Emma's death, they are now being held on first-degree murder charges.
Emma's family has been watching videos on their cell phones to remind them of the love she had to share.
"She was so precious and so cute," said Emma's cousin, Jacob Rufe. "Even when she got a little attitude and a little mad it was so hard not to just grab her up and kiss her and smile. She was just so loving."
Emma was admitted to Wesley Medical Center Monday night in critical condition. Doctors say she had bruising to her body and swelling to her brain.
"It was very heartbreaking to see her in that condition, knowing that there's nothing you can do," said Ronnie Lloyd.
Family, friends, and people who did not even know Emma gathered outside the hospital Wednesday night to light candles, release balloons, and say prayers. Emma died shortly after.
"I looked at her and I put my hand on her and I said baby girl, you are a warrior," Jacob said.
They cannot stand to think of the battle she has been fighting. They hope by seeing her face others will speak up when something does not seem right.
"This could happen to your loved one. This could happen to your little girl and she doesn't get the chance to tell her story. We have to tell it for her," Jacob said.
"If you suspect that a child is being abused, do anything you can to get help for them," said Emma's aunt, Tiffany Rufe. "Because once it's too late, it's too late. You can't get them back."
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