LOWER MAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WTXF) - Loved ones said their final goodbyes to a seven-year-old girl in Bucks County who, police say, was killed by her father in a murder-suicide.
Kayden Mancusco was remembered as vivacious and one of a kind.
“She was a ray of light. She really was, which is why everybody feels how dim it is, now,” said family friend Terhas White.
“I promised Kayden in her coffin last night to make sure her name lives long past us,” Jennifer Sherlock, Kayden’s aunt, said.
Sherlock said although they have to bury the bright, young soul, Kayden’s work on earth is only just beginning. The family is fighting, in Kayden’s name, to change a family court system that failed them.
“Signs were there, but enough action wasn’t taken on the part of the court system,” White stated.
Kayden’s father, Jeff Mancuso, was granted unsupervised visits with his young daughter, despite the courts acknowledging the man’s suicidal thoughts and emotional instability.
“There was enough abuse, enough red flags and the court-appointed psychologist recommended supervised visits. He didn’t do anything,” Sherlock explained.
A Change.org petition calling on Judge Jeffrey Trauger to step down has more than 20,000 signatures in just three days.
“He [Judge Trauger] has blood on his hands and he needs to step down and do the right thing,” Sherlock said.
The family said it has received worldwide support, which they believe will help them fight for Kayden.
“Everybody’s in Kayden’s corner and it is well appreciated and well needed. We need to keep talking about her. We need to keep saying her name and talking about this problem,” White explained.
Kayden’s family said they plan to work with local members of Congress to write and enact “Kayden’s Law,” a bill with greater checks and balances in child custody cases to make sure the system doesn’t fail other families in the future.
Kayden Mancuso was a bright light in many lives...she danced & entertained family & friends, she excelled at sports - she had a lot of spunk. Family&friends invited the media to her funeral - vowing to keep her memory alive & make sure her STORY IS HEARD @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/gFgxwEYIov— jennifer joyce (@JenniJoyceTV) August 11, 2018
Anyone interested in donating toward the family's funeral expenses can do so by visiting its GoFundMe.