Family buries girl, 5, allegedly murdered by her own mother driving into Kansas River

photo by: Clinton Bradley/Contributed Photo

Amiyah Bradley

A little girl who died Friday in the Kansas River, allegedly murdered by her own mother, has been laid to rest.

Private graveside services for Amiyah Renea Bradley, 5, of Columbia, Mo., were held Wednesday in Macon, Mo., according to Amiyah’s obituary from the Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home in Macon.

Typical of a 5-year-old girl, Amiyah enjoyed riding her bike, coloring and playing with her Barbie dolls, her obituary said. She also loved the movie “Frozen,” and her favorite colors were pink and purple.

Amiyah’s father, Clinton Bradley of Columbia, Mo., said after Wednesday’s services that he was grieving and still trying to figure out the facts to understand what led to his daughter’s death.

He and Amiyah’s mother, Scharron R. Dingledine, were high school sweethearts in Macon but hadn’t been together for a few years, and he said it’d been about a year and a half since he’d seen Amiyah. He said he didn’t know Dingledine was dealing with anything that would spur her to commit murder.

“I had no idea, I thought for sure she was being a great mom and was always going to take good care of Amiyah,” Bradley said. “They loved each other to death.”

Regarding Dingledine’s court case stemming from Amiyah’s death, Bradley said, “she needs to pay the price for what she did.”

Dingledine, 26, of Columbia was charged Monday with first-degree murder for allegedly killing Amiyah and attempted first-degree murder for allegedly trying to kill her 1-year-old son, Elijah Lake, by driving a car into the Kansas River with the children inside.

About 1:15 p.m. Friday, dispatch received multiple calls from people who saw the vehicle in the water, according to police. The car was near the south bank of the river just west of the bridge into downtown Lawrence — a grassy area at water-level, accessible only by a gravel road leading to the power plant.

Officers arrived quickly and pulled Dingledine and Elijah from the water. The toddler was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Dingledine was taken to a hospital, and later to jail.

Amiyah’s body was recovered from the river Saturday morning.

photo by: Elvyn Jones

A spontaneous memorial has sprung up for 5-year-old Amiyah Bradley on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, near the site of her death in the Kansas River north of Constant Park. The girl, whose body was recovered from the river on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, her 1-year old brother and their mother, Scharron Dingledine, were in a car that plunged Friday into the Kansas River north of the park and just west of the Vermont Street Kansas River Bridge. Dingledine was being held without bail in the Douglas County Jail on Monday.

Elijah remained in intensive care at a Kansas City area hospital Monday night, his father told the Journal-World, though Kaleb Lake declined to speak more about Dingledine or the incident. Prognosis for Elijah’s recovery isn’t yet clear, his father said. The Journal-World was unable to reach Lake on Wednesday.

Dingledine had been living with Amiyah, Elijah and Lake at an apartment in Columbia.

At Dingledine’s second appearance in court, on Tuesday, her appointed attorney requested a mental competency examination. Dingledine’s next hearing was scheduled for Aug. 28 to allow time for that to be completed.

District Attorney Charles Branson said, based on the nature of the incident, the state considered Dingledine a danger to herself and the public. He said she had no known ties to Lawrence or Kansas.

Dingledine is being held on $1 million bond.

Bradley created a Go Fund Me campaign to help raise money for Amiyah’s burial costs.

He said he learned this week that the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board reimburses families for funeral expenses, though the application and payment process, if approved, takes months. Bradley said he intended to freeze the money he’s raised from Go Fund Me — about $2,600 so far — until that process is complete, and then give anything not needed to pay for the funeral to help with Elijah’s medical expenses.

Bradley said he has been in contact with Elijah’s father, who also attended Amiyah’s funeral.

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff’s Office

Scharron R. Dingledine

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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