DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The mother of a Dayton woman found dead in the lake at Buck Creek State Park last week says she is extremely grateful to everyone who has shown support for her family.
LaTricia Bass-Jefferies, 43, was last seen January 18 when she dropped someone off in Springfield, according to a Dayton police report.
Colleagues who worked with her at Miami Valley Child Development Centers, Inc. in Dayton have established an online fundraiser to cover funeral expenses.
“I’m just looking for her to walk through the door and say, ‘Momma, it was just a dream. That’s all. It was just a dream, Momma. You ain’t go to worry. It’s just a dream,'” said her mother Edwina Goines. “But I know that’s not true.”
Goines told 2 NEWS her oldest daughter loved to dance, help others and make people laugh.
For the past 17 years, she also loved being a preschool teacher, Goines said.
“Those was her kids,” Goines said. “Those was her babies.”
“She always was the first one in the building with the ‘Good mornting! How’s everybody?'” said Johnna Dorsey, a coworker who helped organize the fundraiser.
Dorsey told 2 NEWS that Bass-Jefferies was also the last person to leave the preschool each day.
“We all kind of try not to cry in front of the children because they know,” Dorsey said. “People think that just ’cause they’re little, they don’t understand. But they really do.”
Goines told 2 NEWS she has no idea why her daughter would have been near the lake at Buck Creek State Park where her body and husband’s car were found.
Authorities are waiting on autopsy results to determine the cause of her death but have said they do not suspect foul play.
Goines told 2 NEWS she is grateful for the support she has received from the community.
“It brings joy to my heart that they came,” she said. “They was like Godsent.”
Friends told 2 NEWS VFW Post 5018 is also collecting contributions for her family.
A tribute event is planned for Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Oak and Ivy Park in the 100 block of South Edwin C. Moses Boulevard in Dayton, Dorsey said.
To donate to the family of Bass-Jefferies, click here.