OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) — What should have been a day with family, love and gratitude will forever be a day of tragedy for the Richard family.

“It was a tragedy the way it happened. things happen,” Albert Denton said.

Denton and Monica Jones are neighbors who lived across the street from 4-year-old Raina Richard.

They say hearing the news about her death left them with a broken heart.

“We would see the kid out here a lot, playing. She never bothered anybody. Stay to themselves that we know of,” said Albert Denton.

They both said Richard was a happy and joyful little girl.

Monica Jones remembers Richard coming across the street to wave and speak to her.

“It will be weird not seeing her coming right there and do that little wave. It was like, she was like an angel before because she would constantly just wave at me,” Jones said.

Their hearts go out to the family.

“I’m sorry for y’all’s lost because I know exactly how it feels,” Jones said.

“Say, we lost a kid and we know how it feels,” Denton said.

According to the Opelousas Police Department, Richard’s death is being investigated as a homicide.

Her father, 36-year-old Joseph C. Mayon Jr., is being being held in the St. Landry Parish Jail on first-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to juvenile charges.

Opelousas Police offered condolences to the family and ask the community to keep them in their prayers through this difficult time.