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Family of Wynter Cole-Smith holds memorial one year after body found in Detroit

'We all loved her. Even the ones who never got a chance to meet her, I can see she reached y’all hearts'
Posted at 10:41 PM, Jul 05, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Friday, July 5 marks one year since the body of Wynter Cole-Smith was found on Detroit’s east side.

The 2-year-old was kidnapped in Lansing, leading to a massive multi-day search effort that captivated metro Detroit and mid-Michigan. The mothers ex-boyfriend, Rashad Trice, has since pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murder charges in both state and federal court.

VIDEO: A year after her kidnapping & murder, Wynter Cole-Smith's father says the pain still cuts deep

A year after her kidnapping & murder, Wynter Cole-Smith's father says the pain still cuts deep

“It's hard. I ain't gonna lie. It’s hard,” Wynter's grandfather Almount Smith Sr. said while standing in the alley where her body was found.

Coming back to the spot on this day is far from easy, but for Smith and other loved ones of Wynter, it's important.

“Sometimes, I do feel her presence," Smith said. "I know she’s here. She's still here with us.”

Wynter’s body was found in an alley. The investigation that involved the FBI led law enforcement to the location.

“We all loved her," Smith said. "Even the ones who never got a chance to meet her, I can see she reached y’all hearts.”

In the 365 days since, Smith has made the alley a memorial, planting flowers and putting up a pink fence that reads Wynter's name.

“I have a lot of memories from her," Smith said. "When I first seen her, first thing she did — I'm gonna miss it — she grabbed my beard. Always grabbed my beard.”

While sharing memories on this day, Wynter's family says they’ll honor her every day. It will never be easy but will always be important.

“My little angel, always will be," Smith said while releasing balloons into the sky. "Love you.”