33-year-old Jessica Arrendale was young and beautiful, and her last act in life was truly heroic. She used her last breath to save her six-month old daughter’s life from her drunk, violent boyfriend, even as she died from a bullet wound to the head.
The tragedy unfolded in Smyrna, GA, after Jessica and 30-year old Antoine Davis, a former Marine who served in Iraq, went out for the evening. At some point, when they returned home, Davis became drunk and violent, beating Arrendale with a baseball bat and shooting her in the head before killing himself.
Arrendale was holding the girl when she was shot in the head, and managed to turn in such a way that dropped the baby into the toilet and shielded the girl with her body, police said.
Police were called to the house in the early morning hours, but waited 14 hours to enter the house, worried that their presence would incite more violence. However, when police arrived, both Arrendale, 37, and her boyfriend, 30-year-old Antoine Davis, were dead.
Investigators believe that Davis intended to kill both mother and child, but he was unable to see the child inside the toilet bowl, covered by Arrendale’s body. That’s when he left the bathroom, walked into the baby’s room and shot himself.
The baby was later found in the toilet, covered by her mother’s body. The six-month old had remained there for 13-hours before officers finally stormed the townhouse and rescued her. She was cradled in the arms of an officer who rushed to the hospital.
The infant was treated at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital, and then released to family members.
Thank God she was able to save her child. What this mother did is truly heroic.