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After tragic 2014 death, family marvels at what Kilah Davenport would look like at 13 years old

Leslie worked with a company that produces age-progressed photos. Using pictures of little Kilah and photos of Kilah’s mother, the company created a photo of “Kilah at 13-years-old″.
Leslie worked with a company that produces age-progressed photos. Using pictures of little Kilah and photos of Kilah’s mother, the company created a photo.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 7:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Kilah Davenport’s family would like to know what her life could have been like. What she would have looked like if she were still alive.

Kilah Davenport died just before her fifth birthday. Her body was unable to recover from a brutal beating in 2012 by her then stepfather.

Brian and Leslie Davenport will tell you, that losing their precious grandchild to child abuse begins a grieving process that never ends.

Sunday, April 3, 2022, would have been Kilah’s thirteen birthday. This year, as they’ve done for several years now, Kilah’s grandparents planted trees and flowering bushes in “Kilah’s Garden”. They see the trees are a living memorial for the grandchild robbed of her chance to grow up.

This year, weeks before Kilah’s birthday the Davenports got a glimpse of what “could have been”. Leslie worked with a company that produces age-progressed photos. Using pictures of little Kilah and photos of Kilah’s mother, the company created a photo of “Kilah at 13-years-old″.

“Her eyes. Her chin,” Leslie marvels pointing to the color photo framed on their living room wall.

“Those are traits of Kilah and our family. And the curly hair,” she smiles as she looks at it.

I asked if the photo in some way brings them comfort.

“It does give us comfort. It makes us feel like we can look at it and go, ‘Oh that’s what she would look like”, Davenport replied.

People across North Carolina know Kilah’s story because it made headlines in May 2012. Since Kilah’s death from her injuries in March 2014, her family has fought for kids like Kilah who have no voice.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, something Leslie and Brian Davenport didn’t know much about until brutality took their precious girl.

“We were just regular folks working regular jobs. We didn’t know a lot about it. We had heard about child abuse but when it hit home it really struck. And we fought really hard to help Kilah recover. It just wasn’t in God’s plan for her to recover,” Leslie remembers.

“There are always signs. You just have to watch for them you have to know what to look for; a difference in a child’s behavior; being frightened around certain people” Davenport said.

“It’s a happy feeling to be able to see what she would look like but it’s also very heartbreaking..we don’t get to celebrate with her”

Brian Davenport describes the heartache like this.

“You know there’s a difference between sympathy and empathy and a lot of people can sympathize with what we’re going through but to truly experience the grief that we’re going through you really have to be able to empathize with that.

They share their story to keep other families from enduring the agony they live with every single day.

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