Family, friends celebrate life of little girl killed in Avondale crash

Family, friends celebrate life of little girl killed in Avondale crash
Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:02 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Family and friends of Shareese Lattimore came together Tuesday for a celebration of life on what would have been the girl’s eighth birthday.

It has been almost 10 months since Raven Blankumsee had to do the unthinkable and bury her daughter, Shareese.

Shareese died in March 2021 after she was hit by a car while crossing a busy stretch of Vine Street in Avondale.

“She loved to dance. She loved rainbows and unicorns and her favorite color was purple. Shareese was just one of a kind,” her mother remembers.

Blankumsee often visits her daughter’s grave at Spring Grove Cemetery, but on Tuesday, the mother returned to the spot where her daughter’s life tragically ended.

Shareese’s loved ones said Tuesday was about showing love for her.

They even released balloons in Shareese’s favorite color, purple.

“We’ll be releasing balloons, and just you know, celebrating her life,” Blankumsee said. “I am going to get a cake, and me and the kids are gonna have cake and ice cream and sit down and watch one of Shareese’s favorite movies.”

Shareese’s death still weighs heavy on the hearts of her mother and family.

Mesha Smith, 41, was babysitting Shareese and another 7-year-old girl when she left the kids unattended, according to prosecutors.

The girls were allegedly hit while crossing Vine Street to reach Smith, who had already crossed the road.

The girls were not in a marked crosswalk at the time, officials said. A crosswalk has since been dedicated in their honor.

Smith is wanted on felony charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment, prosecutors announced in December of 2021.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Smith is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040. They are offering a cash reward.

>> ‘Turn yourself in:’ Babysitter sought in Avondale crash that killed young girl <<

Blankumsee is hopeful officials will find Smith.

“They’re not going to give up though. They’re not,” Blankumsee believes. “They’re going to make sure me and my baby get our justice that we deserve.”

As bittersweet as Tuesday was for Blankumsee, she could not help but smile, knowing her little girl is making the most of her special day in heaven.

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