After losing their daughter nearly a year ago, the family of a Moore teenager is asking strangers for help to pay for a headstone to mark her grave.
Railena Rhodes,14, was killed in a drive-by shooting in November 2014. The gunman opened fire at her home during a party. Police found her body in her bedroom. Cody Delano, 18, of Lexington was arrested for the shooting. He is expected in court on Nov. 30 of this year.
“She was a good person. She loved everybody. She had a lot of friends. She had that personality,” Desiree Woodruff said.
Woodruff, a family friend, along with Rhodes’ mother, grandmother and brother all met at Rhodes’ grave Thursday morning.
Currently, the only thing marking Rhodes’ final resting place is a wooden stake with her name written in permanent marker descending in vertical letters. Her family says they leave mementos, but they’re often removed by grounds crews or stolen by thieves, they said.
11/29/2014 Related Story: Friends In Disbelief After Moore Teen Killed During Drive-By Shooting
According to the family, they’ve spent nearly $10,000 dollars on funeral costs. Unable to fund a headstone, they turned to social media, just like their “selfi-queen” Railena would have. They set up a GoFundMe page, asking for $2,500 for a modest headstone, even though modesty wasn't Railena's style, they say. So far, the page has raised $150.
“If I could, it'd be the biggest. Bright pink, red, with her picture, anything, It'd have to get your attention,” Woodruff said.
Railena’s mother, Andrea, said she wants a picture of her daughter, along with a rose, a nickname given by her friends. They say any amount will help as long as they have something lasting to remember a life cut short.