November 30, 2015 Henrico County, Va Police officer Jeff Askew responded to a call for help for medical assistance. When he arrived he found a man giving an unresponsive 27 year old woman CPR. Officer Askew took over for the man and attempted to revive the 27 year old female but she had expired. Askew learned that the man was the boyfriend of the woman and her name was Tiffany Harper. Tiffany was the mother of two children and one of them was turning 4 years old on this very day.
The story is told to WTVR by Tiffany’s sister Charity Rupp who said that she received a call from her father telling her that her sister had passed away.
The 4 year old Child Bella was not at home during the time of the incident and had to be picked up and the entire time Officer Askew was wondering how he would be able to explain to the little girl what was happening. He stated “I tried to keep the dad calm and at the same time I am wondering what am I going to tell this 4-year-old girl about what happened,” Askew explained.
Rupp said “They were planning to pick Bella up together to take her out to eat. Normally her dad would pick her up from daycare and go home with her, but because it was her birthday he went to pick up Tiffany first to go pick up my niece,”
The change of plans due to the unexpected tragedy turned into the child going for drive thru food with her father.
It was at this time that Askew learned it was the child’s birthday as he and another officer named Jenifer Gough took it upon themselves to try and not only keep the child distracted from the investigation that was going on revolving around her mothers death but to also give her some small measure of happiness with a private birthday celebration.
Officer Gough ran to a local store and got a birthday cake and had the child’s name put on it along with a #4 candle for her to blow out. She also got her a balloon while she shopped for the cake.
For the two hours that Investigators and other personnel worked the scene inside the Henrico Apartment surrounding Tiffany’s passing, Officer Askew sat outside with 4 year old Bella and sang her songs, played with her and eventually with Officer Gough celebrated her birthday.
“We played games, we gave her gifts, we sang together, just tried to keep her preoccupied without her having to worry about anything going on,” said Askew.
“They made it memorable for her in a good way,” Bella’s aunt Charity Rupp said of the Officers. “I would love to thank Henrico PD because they didn’t have to do that and I can’t imagine how they felt going and seeing this little girl lose her mom the way she did on her birthday,” Rupp said.
According to WTVR a group of Henrico officers is working to make Bella’s Christmas extra special. In fact, they hope to adopt her for the holiday.
Photo’s Credit: WTVR