Remembering Raija: Vigil held for 8-month-old who died of traumatic injuries

Published: Jul. 17, 2018 at 6:28 AM CDT
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Des Moines residents gathered Monday evening to remember 8-month-old Raija Straight.

Des Moines police were sent at approximately 4:25 p.m. Friday to Mercy Medical Center to investigate a report of an 8-month-old girl with serious inflicted injuries.

Raija Straight had internal injuries, as well as traumatic injuries to the head. She died due to her injuries Saturday.

Her father, 17-year-old Des Moines resident Jayden Straight, turned himself into the Des Moines Police Department early Sunday. He was charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death.

Community members held a candlelight vigil for Raija near 10th and Clark streets.

Rhonda Anderson, Raija's great-grandmother, said she hopes her family and community members can come together to find justice for Raija.

"If we don't stand for nothing everybody we got to stand for this," Anderson said. "If you guys can't stand together as a family of anything else, we got to stand for justice. My grand-baby didn't deserve none of this!"

Jayden Straight is being held in the Polk County Jail in lieu of a $1.6 million bond.

Court documents show the child suffered multiple skull fractures, a ruptured spleen, multiple broken ribs, and massive retinal hemorrhaging.

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