The mother of a Henrico County woman who had been reported missing in January and found dead in February wants to thank those who helped try to find her daughter and asked them to join the family in celebrating her life.
“She is a fun and exciting person,” Cecilia Dye said Tuesday about her 23-year-old daughter, At’taysiyah Dye, who lived with her in Highland Springs. “She loved everyone, so please come and celebrate her life, joy and happiness, and be with her friends and family.”
At’taysiyah Dye was found unresponsive in a car in the 2500 block of Glenlea Avenue in Richmond’s East End at 8:05 p.m. on Feb. 24. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Tajah, as she’s known by friends and family, had been reported missing by Henrico police Jan. 22.
It is believed Dye had been inside the parked car for some time, maybe weeks, and there were no obvious signs of trauma.
“She just wanted a fun-filled life, and be able to just live it at her best,” her mother, Cecilia Dye, said outside her home Tuesday. “She didn’t deserve any of this to happen to her.”
The family, with the help of United Communities Against Crime, is planning a vigil at 4 p.m. on Friday in Jefferson Park in Richmond’s Church Hill. That’s were At’taysiyah Dye grew up, her mother said, and attended elementary and middle schools.
Then, the family moved to Highland Springs, where Tajah attended high school.
“We wanted to be in between, where both [communities] could come,” Cecilia Dye said. “And she’ll be high on top of the city, and we’ll be able to celebrate her life.”
A private funeral service is planned for Monday at 11 a.m. at Manning Funeral and Cremation Services. The funeral can be streamed online. Cecilia Dye said the family is $3,000 short of paying for the service and is asking for donations to be sent directly to the funeral home.
Cecilia Dye and the family described Tajah as a vivacious and strong woman.
“A princess,” her aunt Makiesha Dye said, adding that At’taysiyah Dye would be wearing a tiara at the funeral.
“Like she’d say, ‘Have good energy,’” Cecilia Dye said Tuesday. The members of the family surrounding her laughed, and nodded at the familiar phrase. “She don’t want your negative vibes. No bad vibes.”
The family celebrated what would have been Tajah’s 24th birthday on Feb. 11 without knowing what had happened to her. They last reported seeing her on Jan. 19. When they reported her missing to Henrico police two days later, the family told police it was “abnormal for Tajah to go this long and have no contact with anyone within the family,” according to a release from the department.
Cecilia Dye said she’d gone out with people and was last seen with a man.
“For any female who goes on a date, please tell someone who you’re going with,” Cecilia Dye said. “We, as parents, not trying to get in your business. But we just want to know, to make sure, just in case, to have some idea. ... We worry.”
The family pleaded for anyone with information to come forward.
“She didn’t do this to herself,” her mother said. “She would not leave me.”
Henrico and Richmond police are working together on the investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective J. Crewell at (804) 646-5234 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.
You can also submit anonymous tips by going to www.p3tips.com or using the P3 Tips app for smartphones.
All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.