GARDENCITY, Idaho -- The family of a baby girl who passed away from suspected abuse is now talking about the next step in the grieving process.

The family of Alai'ja Freedom Corbin received news this weekend that the 18-month-old girl had died from injuries she received on October 8.

Family members say when they got word Alai'ja passed away from her injuries, shock and disbelief gave way to harsh reality. Police suspect abuse by her mother's live-in boyfriend, 21-year-old Jordan Everhart.

I am very sad and angered of the way my granddaughter was taken away but the circle of life is what it is and it's sad that she had to go, said Alai'ja's grandmother Yvette Patrice McDuffie.

McDuffie told KTVB that no one saw the tragedy coming.

I assumed that everything was going okay, she said. There were never any issues at all that anything like this would occur.

While Alai'ja's life was short, her family said it was not short-lived. They said they will always remember her fun and free spirit and, of course, her often-adored hair.

She is this little wild baby running around with these little curly locks on her hair and you are running to her with a comb and she is running away, McDuffie said.

The family decided to donate Alai'ja's organs to sick children in need of a chance at life.

I think she was robbed, but you have to look at that -- the good side, the brighter side, McDuffie said. Her spirit will go on.

The family also said they are grateful to the community for all the support as they deal with the grief that goes along with losing Alai'ja. The family plans to hold a celebration of life ceremony on October 29 in Yakima, Washington, where Alai'ja was born.

The Ada County Coroner confirmed Monday that Alai'ja died from head trauma Friday evening. The manner of death is pending as the investigation continues.

Everhart was in court last week facing a charge of felony injury to a child. It's not known yet how that charge might change now that Alai'ja has died.

Read or Share this story: