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KEIAUNA DAVIS, 27, was killed after leaving work in Wilkinsburg, Feb. 22. Police say it was a robbery attempt.

Family remembers young mother killed over her tax refund money

Yesterday, Feb. 27, was little Aliviyah’s third birthday.

It was an occasion that Aliviyah’s mother, Keiauna Lynnette Davis, was anxiously awaiting. And preparing for. Less than a week before, on Feb. 22, Davis’ grandmother had brought $3,000 of Davis’ money from a recent tax refund to Davis at her job at Dollar General in Wilkinsburg. Davis jumped in her grandmother’s car, she was given the money, and Davis told her grandmother that much of the money would be used on Aliviyah’s presents, decorations, and other delights that brightens the smile of a toddler that much more.

However, many on social media have called the actions to follow “senseless,” “cowardly,” “idiotic,” and “sad.”

Allegheny County Police Homicide detectives said Davis, 27, was walking from work after her shift when she was allegedly confronted by Dane J. Taylor, 21. Looking to rob her of the money, police say he shot at Davis twice—missing the first time, striking her in the hip the second, then taking off in a waiting car with Davis’ purse and the money.

KEIAUNA DAVIS, right, shown here in a Facebook photo with sister, Makayla Davis.

Davis was transported to a UPMC Presbyterian, but succumbed to her injuries.

In addition to Taylor, police have charged two others in connection with the murder—Kaijin Scott, 23, who drove Taylor to and from the scene, and 21-year-old Laya Whitley, who, police say, worked with Davis at Dollar General that day, found out about the money Davis would be receiving, and texted Taylor in an attempt to set up a robbery.

“Money you can replace, a life you can’t replace,” said Davis’ grandmother, Linda Wilson, during a sit-down interview with Tiffani Monique Walker of STK Embrace Life Media. “And she (Whitley) took a lot. She took a lot from us, she took a lot from these babies.”

Wilson, looking toward Aliviyah, said that “she is never going to know her mom…by us telling her and showing her pictures, when she gets in her teens that’s the only way she’ll know about her mother and that is so unfair. She shouldn’t have to grow up with just us telling her how her mother was, and that her mother loved her, and what her mother was doing that day, because it was about these kids.”

KEIAUNA DAVIS (Photo via Facebook)

According to an obituary from Beverly C. Draper Funeral Home in Monessen, Davis had just turned 27 years old on Feb. 9. She attended high school in both Belle Vernon and Monessen, and was also working at Wendy’s in Edgewood. “On your worst days,” the obituary read, “she would bring a smile and laughter to warm your heart.”

Davis’ funeral will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 230 Reed Ave. in Monessen at 11 a.m.

Davis’ mother, Sheila Detwiler, who resides in Charlotte, was already making a pre-planned trip to Pittsburgh on Feb. 23 because of Aliviyah’s birthday. While she has continuously thanked supporters and well-wishers on social media, she never could have believed that planning a funeral for her daughter would replace what was to be an exciting, fun-loving trip.

“She was a hardworking young lady,” Wilson said of her granddaughter. “She had called me earlier that morning and said, ‘Grandma, I need for you to come down, because when I get off work, I’m going to go and do a few things and then I’m going to get everything for Aliviyah’s birthday party’…She was about doing what she was supposed to do.”

 

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