Family, friends of woman, young girl killed during mental health crisis in Missouri hold vigil

WEST SEATTLE, Wash. — Family and friends of a West Seattle woman and an 11-year-old girl who were killed in St. Louis County, Missouri nearly two weeks ago came together Sunday afternoon at High Point Commons Park to hold a vigil to honor their memory.

The family of 53-year-old Mioshi McCloud and 11-year-old My’Elle Harris tell KIRO 7 it was been a tough few weeks for them.

“Just out of the blue, your loved one….especially your little sister....my little sister, can be snatched away like that,” Schwanda Taylor Crow, McCloud’s sister, told KIRO 7.

Crow says McCloud moved to the St. Louis area over a year ago to get a fresh start on things and be closer to other families.

She says her sister was an amazing singer who has been a part of a lot of concerts, collaborations, and projects over the years in Seattle.

As for My’Elle family and friends say she was a mini version of Mioshi who loved to read.

“Just a mama’s girl and a grandma’s girl. All around girls girl,” Florida Steele Taylor, Mioshi’s Sister-in-law, said.

Berkely Police found McCloud and Harris stabbed to death inside a home almost two weeks ago.

Police arrested McCloud’s own son, 28-year-old Lawrente’ O’Cain, in connection to their deaths.

He remains in custody and has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action.

Florida Steele Taylor, Mioshi’s sister-in-law, says that McCloud tried to get O’Cain mental help for some time. She also believes this tragedy is a sign of the mental health issues the U.S. continues to not deal with.

“But it also has to give us an opportunity to talk about what mental health really means in our community,” Taylor said.

“They failed them down there. They failed them,” Crow said.

And while many people at Sunday’s vigil shared plenty of fond memories of McCloud and Harris, they believe the system addressing mental health is broken and hope something like this doesn’t happen to another family.

“It’s a broken system and it has failed our communities. Not just this community, but all communities,” Crow said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral and other expenses.

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