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‘She took a piece of just about everybody’: Valley family mourning the loss of two-year-old

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 5:48 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A Valley family is mourning the loss of two-year-old Averianna May, who was killed on Saturday, June 18

Averi’s family is honoring and remembering her with a candlelight vigil Sunday at 8 p.m. in Heritage Park.

“That little girl has a heart of gold. She was very headstrong, and she knew it. She was 100% spunk, and 1000% sassiness, and she let everybody know she had that,” said Averi’s grandfather, Ronnie May Jr.

Averi called him “G-Daddy,” or, at least, she tried to. She couldn’t pronounce it quite right just yet.

“She was our comedian of the family. When we had family dinners, she was the center of attention,” May said.

May said Averi loved to play games like hide-and-seek with her mom, and she liked to nap with him in his recliner. He said he struggles to put into words how the loss will impact them.

“She touched - anybody that knew her - she touched their lives. When she left this earth, she took a piece of just about everybody that knew her with her,” he said.

Since Averi’s tragic passing, May said they’ve been watching the countless photos and videos they have of her.

“For the last couple of days, we’ve been looking through them. Some make us cry. Most of them make us laugh. She was just such a comedian,” May said.

May said she was vibrant and charismatic.

“She was a girl that could really teach you how to love unconditionally and put a smile on your face, no matter how your day went. If I got to see her when I got home from work, it didn’t matter,” he said.

The Staunton Police Department said Averi was in the care of Christopher S. Hoover at the time. Hoover has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and is being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail.

The investigation is open and ongoing.

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