Family band dedicates heartfelt song to slain Navajo girl
By Chrissy Largo
Special to the Times
Rippy Williams and his two daughters, Lily and Lola vow to never go to bed mad or angry at each other.
If they have issues amongst one other, the three-member family agrees to always talk it out.
That precious vow was sparked when they heard and followed the devastating news about 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike of Fruitland, New Mexico, who was sexually assaulted and murdered on May 2, hours after she and her nine-year-old brother Ian were lured into a van after they got off their school bus. Ian was later released and picked up by a passing motorist along Navajo Route 13.
“I felt like I wanted to hurt that person that did that,” said Rippy, a single father who has been raising his two daughters since 2009.
“I just remember feeling so mad. I told Lily how I felt, I told her I can’t imagine what the parents must feel. I wouldn’t know what I would do if that happened to me.”
He recalled Lily crying and as he hugged her. He told both his daughters that he loved them and to always express that love to one another. He told them, “Let’s not take our lives for granted.”
“That happening to that family brought us closer together,” he said.