Neighbors mourn death of three-year-old girl: ‘She was a beautiful ball of sunshine’

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- The investigation into the death of a three-year-old Jackson Township, York County girl continues as friends and neighbors mourn her loss.

Police were called to a home in the Chesapeake Estates mobile home park Wednesday, where they found the girl's mother, Regina Lester, naked in the front yard.

Police arrested Lester for killing her daughter, Isabel Rose Godfrey.

Officers found the girl's lifeless body in the kitchen area, but they weren't the first ones to get the call for help.

Family friend Andrew Day Day said it was Bella's six-year-old brother who told him about trouble at home with their mother Regina Lester, and asked him to come over right away.

Now, he mourns the loss of the girl friends and family nicknamed 'Bella,' beautiful both in spirit and name.

"I remember when she was pregnant with Bella, so I've known Bella since the say she was born," Day said.

It's the day Bella died that will be difficult to forget as he performed CPR on her as long as he could.

"And not being able to revive her, it hurts, but I did my best, and I love her. I just wanted her to breathe," Day said.

"Regina is standing there, like she is so out there, she's gone. She's looking right through me, and she looks at me and says 'Andrew, I killed Bella," Day added.

It's an experience Day can only describe as 'crazy.'

"First cop rode up on scene, Regina started to run in this direction, me and the neighbor guy held her down, until the cops were out of the car, and put her under arrest and did what they did," Day said.

Friends of the family and neighbors were out at Lester's home Thursday morning, leaving cards and gifts for the sweet little girl they remember.

Whether they knew her or not, Bella left a big impression on many people.

Neighbor Barb Sipe said, "She's a sweet little thing. I never knew her name, but I used to see her out here, playing, and she was adorable."

Now, neighbors say Bella's in God's hands, and came to her house mourn her loss.

"I know she's looking down from heaven now, and seeing things, so i figured I'd give her a little white polar bear because white stands for purity," Sipe said.

Neighbor Paul Hoffman said, "That poor little thing never had time to really live. I just can't understand anybody hurting a child."

Those touched by Bella's life, are now shocked by her death.

"When I found out it was a child involved, I couldn't sleep at night. It's horrible to hear about any babies, you know, children going through this," Sipe said.

"She was a beautiful ball of sunshine. She was a lovely girl, and she loved life, the best she could," Day said.

A group of neighbors said they blame drugs for the girl's death, and that they will be following this case to be a voice for Bella and make sure she gets justice.

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