Updated: Wednesday, 03 Jun 2009, 12:42 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 19 May 2009, 9:56 AM EDT
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach Police say an 11-month-old died in the care of her uncle. Police tell us they found La Keira Calahan unresponsive at a home on Gunter Street. The baby's uncle, 23-year-old Stephen Calahan is behind bars, charged with Second Degree Murder.
La Keira's parents say she was an angel sent to them. She was a little girl who was born nine months after the couple was married and her mother says she was full of laughter and life. Inside their Virginia Beach home the laughter, as well as a young life, is gone. Police say it was taken by the hands of her uncle.
"It's very shocking," said neighbor Grayson Sheringham. "I can't believe that happened."
Sheringham says she saw Stephen Calahan holding his niece La Keira in the backyard of their Gunter Street home.
"I was behind the tree and I didn't see him," added Sherinham. "I just heard him say 'wake up.' I looked around and he was shaking her saying 'wake up.'"
About 30 minutes later, Sheringham says Calahan was running around looking for help.
"I kept saying do you need me to call 911 and he just didn't answer me or anything," said Sheringham.
Rescue crews found La Keira unconscious. She was pronounced dead two days later. Police say her severe injuries were caused by "shaken baby syndrome." Calahan was charged with her death.
"I would imagine they are mortified," said neighbor Ruth Kenneth. "Just thinking about it I would die. I would go absolutely insane. Just thinking about it makes me go insane right now."
La Keira's mother says Calahan was babysitting while they were at work. At the time there wasn't a phone in the house. She says mistakes happen and that she just wished he would have tried to get help sooner.
She says she and her husband decided to donate the little girls organs. They hope their loss can help other children in need.
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