NORMAL (WEEK) -- Rica Rountree was pronounced dead on Jan. 26, 2019, dying from injuries she sustained after being kicked in the abdomen by her father's girlfriend.
Though her death made headlines her mother, Antionetta Rountree, wants her daughter's life to be what is remembered.
"Last year everyone saw the traumatic, they saw the trauma, the tragedy, they saw the pain and the hurt, the suffering. But Rica knew love, Rica had love, Rica came from love," she said.
To show their love for Rica the community gathered in front of the home the 8-year-old lived in with her father. The vigil was a way to remember the child and pray for her soul Rountree said.
"To have her life being shown is what's important because she is bigger than the stuff that killed her. She was an amazing child and people are going to know that now," she said.
Rountree said she is hoping the show of support for Rica will bring about legislative change to better protect children.
"Hopefully lawmakers will see like this means something to us it's time to change these laws and protect our kids," she said.