Death of 4-Year-Old Found Unresponsive at Tampa Motel After Easter is Under Investigation: Police

"I'm beating myself up about that because if I took my grand baby and brought her home with me or to the hospital she would still be here today," the girl's grandmother Diana Williams told WFLA

Officials in Florida are investigating the death of a 4-year-old girl who was found unresponsive inside a Tampa motel room.

The Tampa Police Department said the victim, identified by her family as Nova Thomas, died Monday morning after she was found inside the Sunset Inn Motel on East Hillsborough Avenue just after 2 a.m., according to WFLA and WTSP.

"Her dad said her stomach was hurting and he gave her a laxative and left her in the bathroom," Thomas' aunt Natalie Denson told WTSP, "and when he went back to check on her she was unresponsive."

Thomas was rushed to a nearby hospital after first responders attempted to revive her on scene but ultimately succumbed to her injuries, FOX 13 Tampa Bay reported.

The Tampa Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Thomas' grandmother Diana Williams told WFLA that she last saw her granddaughter the day prior on Easter. She said the little girl was with her father and several other children at the time.

Nova Thomas

"I held Nova and she was looking timid, fearful, but I didn't think anything of it because I saw the other kids," Williams told the station. She later said she wishes she never left Thomas alone that day and is now filled with heartbreak and regret.

"I'm beating myself up about that because if I took my grand baby and brought her home with me or to the hospital she would still be here today and I have to live with that for the rest of my life, knowing I could have saved Nova and didn't act," Williams said to WFLA.

"I didn't act on the bruises I saw, the way she was dressed and the way she was looking fearful, like she was pleading please take me with you, and I didn't do nothing," she added.

Police said Monday that an investigation into Thomas' death is underway, according to the local outlets.

Thomas' aunt Denson, who said her niece previously lived with her for three years, told WTSP that she hopes investigators can find out exactly what happened to her niece.

"We do want justice for her and we are going to make sure that happens no matter what," she explained.

Sunset Inn Motel

Williams shared similar sentiments with WFLA. "We want to know what happened to Nova, why did she go in that hotel and not come out," she said. "Why didn't he call the paramedics, why did you spend 30 phone calls calling me and not the paramedics."

Thomas was one of Williams' 15 grandchildren, per WFLA. The grandmother described her late granddaughter as

Nova was one of Williams' 15 grandchildren. Williams described her as a typical 4-year-old that enjoyed playing and watching TV.

"She liked to sing, dance, she liked the TikTok," Williams told WFLA. "She was always smiling, just lovable, "A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help cover Thomas' funeral costs.

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