James Heath Kitchens, 30, was charged with manslaughter in the death of Brittany Phillips and then released on a $25,000 bond

By Sean Neumann
November 27, 2020 03:46 PM
Brittany Rhea Phillips
| Credit: Brittany Rhea Phillips/instagram

Family and friends of a Mississippi model and mother of two are remembering her as an “angel” this week, after she was allegedly run over and killed by the father of her youngest child last weekend.

Brittany Phillips, 26, was pronounced dead after being struck by a vehicle and taken to a nearby hospital last Saturday night, local television station WCBI reports.

“Brittany was the kind of person that once you had just one conversation with her,” Phillips' friend, Angel Boatright, told the outlet, “You realized she just wasn’t all looks. ... She had so many of her own opinions. She would do anything to improve anybody’s situation or anything they were going through.”

Phillips' mother, Stacie, is remembering her late daughter as “a successful model, aspiring student, and a loving mother to two children,” WCBI reports.

Brittany Rhea Phillips
| Credit: gofundme

Memorials have since poured in from around the world on Phillips' Facebook page, where friends and former colleagues have posted memories and messages of support for the late model and her family.

“You were truly an angel and one the best friends any human can have,” one friend wrote.

“My heart is broken. I will miss you brit,” another added.

Oktibbeha County police did not comment when contacted by PEOPLE.

James Heath Kitchens, 30, was charged with manslaughter and released on a $25,000 bond for his role in her death, reports WTVA.

It is unclear whether Kitchens has an attorney who can speak to the charges.

Kitchens is reportedly the father of Phillips’ youngest child, a 10-month old, whom the pair shared photos together with on social media. He is a former police officer in Tupelo, Mississippi, where he worked from January 2019 until May 2020, the department told WTVA.

James Heath Kitchens
| Credit: OKTIBBEHA COUNTY Police Department

Deputies were called last Saturday night to Riviera Road, where Phillips was struck around 8 p.m. following what police have described as a domestic dispute.

“That was the mother of his child that he ran over,” a close friend, Rachel Phelps, told WCBI. “He’d been abusive. There are so many people that know what she’s been going through for a long time and we just want justice for her and her babies because he took their mother from them.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up “to help with her funeral costs, and to help Brittany’s mother raise and care for her daughters children."

“Brittany was an amazing mother, her children were her world,” the fundraiser says. “These donations will help provide these two babies their best future going forward.”