(NEW PEKIN, Ind.) — The death toll from dozens of tornadoes that ravaged parts of the Midwest and South last week has reached 39 with the death of 15-month-old Angel Babcock, the toddler found next to the bodies of her family members in a field near their Indiana home.
She died Sunday from traumatic brain injury after her family removed her from life support.
Angel was taken by helicopter to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday and placed in critical condition. She died Sunday at 4:10 p.m. after her grandmother, Kathy Babcock, made the decision with other family members to take her off life support.
“I had my arm around her when she took her last breath,” Kathy Babcock said in an exclusive interview with ABC News. “I sang to her itsy-bitsy spider.”
Angel’s mother, Moriah Babcock, 20; father, Joseph Babcock, 21; and two siblings Jayden and Kendall were found dead in the same field as the toddler Friday afternoon. Kathy Babcock told ABC News that when she let her granddaughter go Sunday afternoon, she knew the baby girl was going in the arms of her father.
“We were all around the bed, I had my hand on the side of her, and I reached for her hand, and was holding her hand,” the grandmother said. “I don’t know what made me let go, but she put her arms straight up, she was daddy’s little girl. So daddy picked her up and took her. The whole room seen that. He was just like, standing in front of her. She wanted to go with daddy.”
Now, the family and friends of the Babcocks are faced with the task of burying five of their loved ones.
“They need to have a proper burial,” family friend Sherry Young said. “That’s my dream, that’s my prayer. I’ve been praying and praying that this can happen for them.”
The Babcock family has turned to their community for help in burying their loved ones. Bank of America has set up a Babcock Family Fund to help pay for the family’s funeral expenses.
“I know it’s tragic we lost all five of them and it’s hard that we did,” Young said. “The one thing I can say, they’re all together and that is comforting. Knowing they are together because they were together day in and day out and they’ll always be together.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Andreas Preuss, CNN
David Goldman, CNN