BRADENTON, Fla. -- An 18-year-old Manatee County daycare teacher who survived a life-threatening Lupus diagnosis as a young girl was killed by gunfire on Sunday afternoon.
Three years ago, Moriah Hope Goode needed a special treatment to survive and her family, along with her community, showed up in full force donating thousands of dollars she needed for her life-saving stem cell treatment. Gary and Janet Goode adopted Moriah when she was a baby.
Janet says when Moriah became sick as a teenager she was so weak she couldn't get out of bed. "We hung bed sheets out in the front yard -- 'Give hope to Moriah -- give Moriah life.' We had a thermometer to try to raise the $30,000 and we'd keep trying to show the progress."
The victim of a shooting that police said was not random, Moriah was working as a child-care giver at a local daycare. Janet adds, "A lot of time she had 14 2-year-olds and she loved them with all her heart." She was also hoping to go to school to become a paramedic and had a long history of babysitting for families in her community.
Moriah's parents are devastated. They say she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The celebration of life service for Moriah is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., on Anna Maria Island. The candlelight vigil will be at 6 p.m. at Riverwalk in Bradenton.
Janet says Moriah was just waiting for a friend she'd given a ride home. She was parked in her car in an apartment complex in the 3300 block of 4th Street East. It was around 4:25 p.m Sunday. Janet adds, "She was sitting in the car and when he got in that's when gunshots started."
The Manatee County Sheriff's Office isn't releasing the identity of the man Moriah was with but they do say a witness drove Moriah in her vehicle to Manatee Memorial Hospital. Janet and Gary say when they arrived at the hospital they found Moriah's car riddled with bullet holes. Moriah died at the hospital. Janet says, "Turn yourself in. You took my baby's life. I know her heart was right and I know where she's at. I know she's with Jesus. That's the only thing that gives Dad and I comfort."
The family has set up a gofundme page to help pay for funeral expenses. Click here for details. You can also donate at any Wells Fargo Bank.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Manatee County Sheriff's Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers 866-634-TIPS.
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