CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Police are actively investigating the death of a 17-month-old toddler after she was assaulted at a motel on Midlothian Turnpike last Wednesday. 

The mother of the baby girl who died spoke with 8News on Tuesday at a vigil for her daughter, Nariah Brown.

Purple and teal balloons were released into the sky as people mourned the loss of Brown.    

“I love you butt butt and mommy misses you and I’ll see you soon,” Aija Brown, her mother, said with tears her eyes. 

A. Brown described her daughter, nicknamed Butter Bean, as “loving, goofy, open-hearted” in front of the big crowd. She said her baby girl loved to dance, especially to Disney songs. “She loved music, all music,” A. Brown told 8News.

Brown says it was a close friend who sexually assaulted her daughter at the Motor Lodge on Midlothian Turnpike last Wednesday. Nariah died on Friday at the hospital.

“I was in panic mode, disgusted and total shock,” Brown told 8News. 

Brown said she hopes all parents who hear her story hug their children tight. 

“I love my daughter,” she explained. “I just want parents, anybody to keep your children close, pay attention and if they have any signs or say anything, let somebody know.” 

The family told 8News they will celebrate Nariah’s life on Sunday.

No charges have been filed by police at this time.