Memorial held for pregnant woman killed in Raleigh

YOUNGSVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- More than 900 people packed the sanctuary at Faith Baptist Church in Youngsville Sunday afternoon to honor Kimberly Dianne Richardson.

Richardson, 25, was shot to death on April 18 in car parked at Triangle Town Center in Raleigh.

Friends of the woman, who was six months pregnant, say she struggled to survive, but she managed to live long enough for doctors to deliver her premature daughter.

Raleigh police have charged Richardson's boyfriend, the father of her child, Daniel Steele with Richardson's murder.

At Sunday's memorial service Richardson was recalled as a gregarious and fun-loving child who, as an adult, cared deeply about other people.

"Kimberly had an infectious personality. And she had a way of just filling up a room with a smile," said Drew Garrison, a close family friend whose children grew up with Richardson.

There was also talk of the miraculous survival of the baby, Lacy Dianne Richardson.

Pastor Richard Mills said the baby's life was possible because of Kimberly Richardson's "heroic acts" of striving to live.

But Mills said the baby "still has a long way to go."

He asked the community to pray for little Lacy.

Kimberly Richardson's close friend and roommate, Lauren Byerly, talked to ABC 11 about Richardson.

"When she found out she was pregnant she was so excited," Byerly said. "She was going to be an amazing mother. And I was excited to be a part of her life and her family's life. And this wasn't the circumstances we had had in mind but it helps a lot to know there's part of her still here."

Family friends, like Penney Smith, said the outpouring of sympathy and support from the community is helping family and friends cope.

"It's terrible with tragedies like this but we always can pull together and be there to support each other," Smith said.

There is a fundraising site to help with medical expenses that has been set up by friends. The church is also accepting donations for the family.

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