TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa family wants answers after 4-year-old Nova Thomas died Monday morning. Police say she was found unresponsive at the Sunset Inn Motel on East Hillsborough Avenue.

Despite life-saving efforts, they were unable to resuscitate the child.

Diana Williams is Thomas’ grandmother. She’s not only heartbroken, but she’s also feeling a sense of regret.

Williams says she last saw her granddaughter at the motel with her father and several other children on Easter morning.

“I held Nova and she was looking timid, fearful, but I didn’t think anything of it because I saw the other kids,” Williams said.

Williams left, but now wishes she didn’t leave alone.

“I’m beating myself up about that because if I took my grandbaby and brought her home with me or to the hospital she would still be here today and I have to live with that for the rest of my life, knowing I could have saved Nova and didn’t act,” Williams said. “I didn’t act on the bruises I saw, the way she was dressed and the way she was looking fearful, like she was pleading please take me with you, and I didn’t do nothing.”

Nova was one of Williams’ 15 grandchildren. She was your typical 4-year-old. She loved to play and watch tv. She was cheerful and outgoing.

“She liked to sing, dance, she liked the TiKTok,” Williams said. “She was always smiling, just lovable.”

The family has many questions, but right now, they want justice for Nova.

“We want to know what happened to Nova, why did she go in that hotel and not come out,” Williams said. “Why didn’t he call the paramedics, why did you spend 30 phone calls calling me and not the paramedics.”

The family started a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs.

The case is under investigation.



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