Mother struggles with hardships after child's murder - KCTV5

NEW DETAILS

Mother struggles with hardships after child's murder

Posted: Updated:
Balethia Washington doesn't like coming back to the house in the 2700 block of North Early. It's the place where her baby was killed on Jan. 4, and the barrage of bullet holes that dot all but one room make it unlivable for her remaining five children. Balethia Washington doesn't like coming back to the house in the 2700 block of North Early. It's the place where her baby was killed on Jan. 4, and the barrage of bullet holes that dot all but one room make it unlivable for her remaining five children.
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

Balethia Washington doesn't like coming back to the house in the 2700 block of North Early Street. 

It's the place where her baby was killed on Jan. 4, and the barrage of bullet holes that dot all but one room make it unlivable for her remaining five children. 

So, for the past two weeks, the family has been sleeping on her sister's living room floor. It's just one financial hurdle that's made the difficulties more than just emotional.

“The police have my vehicle,” Washington said. “It's part of the investigation. So in one night I lost my son, I lost my home and I lost my vehicle.”

Washington said police told her they collected more than 70 shell casings when they began investigating the drive-by shooting that killed her son, 7-month-old Ja'Quail Mansaw, known to family by the nickname “Smoothie.” His grandfather gave him the nickname because the baby's smile was so slick.

“This did a whole 360 on us and on our life,” Washington said. “Our life will never be the same.”

Her remaining children, who range in age from 2 to 8 years old, have been asking her when they get to go home. They've asked where Smoothie is. Washington is dealing with the difficult emotional questions, plus other things most people wouldn't think about.

“Our clothes have glass and stuff all over it and we don't want to keep that stuff,” Washington said. “No matter how much you wash it you can get a fine piece and cut yourself up.”

At the age of 24, Washington says she's raised six kids without ever asking for help or taking government aid.

“I have always, since the age of 14 when I had my first child, kept a job, maintained my rent,” Washington said. “I have always managed to do it with me and my husband.”

She says she'll never get over losing Smoothie, but she wants a place the rest of the kids can call their own.

“I'll just be happy when I find somewhere else to stay,” said Washington.

Meanwhile, she believes someone is trying to profit from Smoothie's death. The family just learned that someone is going to area businesses asking for donations in Smoothie's name. Washington says the family is not behind that effort, has not endorsed that effort and has not been contacted by anyone saying they were planning to solicit cash donations.

The family has set up a fund online through GoFundMe. Click here to donate online. 

Donations can also be made at Security Bank, 1000 Minnesota Ave., in Kansas City, KS. Checks should be made payable to the Jaquail D. Mansaw Memorial Fund.

 Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.