Family of girl accidentally hanged finds hope amid tragedy


TIMPSON (KYTX) -- Loved ones of Addison Lay Perez describe her as loving, smart and charming. The eight-year-old died Wednesday after accidentally hanging herself outside a Nacogdoches apartment Sunday afternoon.

"It could happen to anybody's kids," her great aunt Rhonda Soto said.

Nacogdoches police say Perez, who just completed second grade, was playing with a rope on a stairwell Sunday when she became entangled and it ended up around her neck. While detectives continue to investigate, along with help from Child Protective Services, they say this appears to be a "tragic accident."

Perez spent most of her life in Timpson, where family members spoke Wednesday with CBS19 -- reflecting on the life of a little girl they loved so much.

"She had a big heart... big heart," recalled Jayme Soto, Addison's aunt.

"She always had that smile… that smile," added cousin Karla Bright. "She was always happy."

Though she was unresponsive following the accident, Addison remained on life support for several days so doctors could harvest her organs, her aunt said. They will be transplanted to as many as eight children who need them. Addison's family finds comfort knowing, despite her absence, she will live on in others.

"Because how Addison was -- very loving, caring -- I think that'll be good for her knowing she can still care for other children," Bright said.

Amid their loss, the family asks for prayers of strength -- especially for Addison's mom Kerri, and her siblings.

"With great family here and support we have in the community to help out, I think everybody is going to be okay eventually," Jayme said.

But they know that will take time.

Karla and Rhonda have setup a GoFundMe page to help Kerri with her daughter's medical and memorial expenses.

To donate, visit

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