Family Holds Vigil For Two-Year-Old Girl, Father Charged In Her Death

Posted at 11:00 PM, Aug 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-15 23:00:58-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The death of two-year-old Zaeyana Driggs-Threats has been ruled a homicide by Grand Rapids police and a warrant for homicide has been issued for  the child’s father, 21-year-old DeShawn Threats.

While a family struggles to make sense of this tragedy, they came together outside the child’s home in memory of the toddler known affectionately as ‘Button’.

Charges of homicide were authorized after the results of an autopsy on the two-year-old revealed that Zaeyana died as a result of blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

According to Effie Threats, the victim’s great-grandmother, Zaeyana earned her nickname ‘Button’ at birth.

“It’s the eyes,” she said.  “She had the most amazing eyes.  It’s like was already wearing contacts.  She was such a bright baby.”

Threats wore a shirt with a picture of her great-granddaughter on it to the memorial service.   Pictures were posted on the front porch of the home along with balloons, and candles.

Gloria Johnson, Zaeyana’s grandmother, said the two-year-old was such a happy child.

“Full of energy, loved to play around,” she said.  “Joke and run up and down the street.”

The toddler was found dead at the home in the 600 block of Fourth Street on Wednesday morning.

Police say both the mother and father were home at the time.  FOX 17 found DeShawn Threats has a history of domestic violence arrests along with a personal protection order application taken out against Threats by Zaeyana’s mother, Darci Driggs.

Those discoveries make some question why the father was at the home in the first place.

“There was a personal protection order that had not been served,” said Sgt. Kristen Rogers with the Grand Rapids Police Department.  “Her application of it, the purpose of them is to keep the person away, but she was allowing him at the home.”

There are questions the family has as well.  “We just don’t understand what went wrong here on that day to lead us to this point,” said Effie Threats.

She said she was with her great-grandchild the day before she died and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary, “The next morning everything was terribly wrong,” she said.

As the family struggles to make sense of it all, they are leaning on the strength of friends and neighbors and they try to find a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

“A lot of friends and a lot of prayers and we have that support right now,” said Threats.

DeShawn Threats is expected to be charged with homicide for the death of his daughter on Friday, Aug. 16th.