• Family identifies toddler that died, police investigating

    By: Zach Crenshaw , Joshua Tucker


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Police are working to find out how a healthy toddler ended up dead.

    Amelia Nyree Taper passed away Saturday, just weeks away from her second birthday.

    The little girl was unresponsive at LeBohneur Children’s Hospital after being transported from the Ridgecrest Apartment complex.

    NiQuetta Smith got the phone call that is every grandparent’s worst nightmare.

    >> PHOTOS: Remembering Amelia Taper, 23-month-old, who died unexpectedly 

    “My daughter called me and said, ‘Mom, Amelia stopped breathing.’ And I'm like ‘What do you mean stopped breathing? And she said, ‘She's not breathing, I don't know what I'm going to do without her.’ Those are the words that my daughter told me,” said Smith, Amelia’s grandmother.


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    Amelia was already at LeBohneur when NiQuetta rushed into the ER.

    “I went back there to where the doctors were and I just said, ‘Please just tell me, I'm Amelia's blood grandmother, is she living or is she dead?’ And the doctor said, ‘Amelia is dead.’ So that's what happened. And I don't know what happened.”

    Memphis Police have opened a death investigation but say they are waiting on an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

    “She was beautiful, she was thriving. When she met people she was loving, she was friendly. She was just a joy,” said Smith.

    “I just want to know what happened to my granddaughter. That is all I want. To have peace within myself. I just want to know what happened to her.”

    A candlelight vigil is being held for Amelia Nyree Taper on Monday night at 8:00 p.m. at Klondike Park on Brown Avenue.

    FOX13 will continue to work on this story, and will be the first to let you know when the autopsy on Amelia is complete.​

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