‘No evil escapes God’s eyes’ – Vigil held for Kayla Massingale

Published 11:04 am Sunday, March 27, 2022

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A candlelight vigil and prayer walk was held Saturday for grieving friends and family who are seeking answers and justice for a Harlan woman who left a legacy of kindness before her tragic end in September of 2021.

Kayla Massingale’s death remains under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

“She was beautiful, inside and out, and loved her family dearly,” said Marie Grubbs during the memorial service for Massingale at Huff Park. “Everyone that knew her noticed the beautiful smile that she had. No matter what she was going through in her personal life, she would always smile and seem so cheerful when she’d talk to you.”

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A relative of Massingale, Grubbs continued, “Kayla was deeply loved by her family and is painfully missed by them, especially her mother and son. It broke my heart when I heard about her passing, and even more so about the way it came about. I have been and will continue helping her mother to work through her grief and loss in getting answers about what really happened to cause Kayla’s death.”

According to a press release, KSP Post 10, Harlan, received a call referencing an unresponsive woman in the Coldiron community on August 27, 2021. Kentucky State Police Troopers responded to the scene.

The unresponsive female was transported by LifeGuard Ambulance to Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital. The female was initially listed as “Jane Doe” due to not having any identification on her. The woman, later identified as Massingale, was transferred to Hazard ARH Hospital. Massingale, 31, of Harlan was pronounced deceased at Hazard ARH Hospital on Sept. 2, 2021.

State Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the autopsy to the media because it is part of an ongoing KSP investigation.

Grubbs read a handwritten note from Massingale’s young son Brandon, who wrote that he misses his mother.
“My mom was the best mom ever.”

Grubbs shared a note from Massingale’s mother, Donna.

“I want to thank everyone for coming here this evening in honor of Kayla, my beautiful daughter, for every prayer that has been said for her family. And for justice for Kayla. No evil escapes God’s eyes. I believe that what was done in darkness, God will bring to light. What happened to her, God will reveal. God has seen our tears and He has heard our cries for Kayla and He will answer.”

Donna’s note shared stories about the kind of person Massingale was.

“It didn’t matter what Kayla was going through, she would always meet you with a big smile and sweet words,” Grubbs said in a tear-strained voice as she read Donna’s note. “Kayla was a hard worker. She would always work long shifts and come home, fix her little boy some dinner and do whatever needed to be done. She was truly amazing. Like her little boy Brandon said, she was the best mom.”

Grubbs continued reading, “One time in my life I was going through a financial rough spot and Kayla had dropped on two occasions a hundred dollar bill in my purse without saying anything. I found it both times and wondered where it came from. Later Kayla asked me if I found it, and then I knew it was her. She had slipped it into my purse because she didn’t want me to turn it down. She always thought of others.”

The Reverend Terry Tipton led the gathering in prayer, candles were lit and balloons released into the wind as a visual expression of love for Massingale.

A friend of Massingale, Leanne Barrett’s voice was straining with emotion when she said, “We’ve been actively praying through this all. God will restore everything that was lost. I think that all the truth will be revealed. I have hope and I have faith. Even though we can’t see it, I have faith that it is happening right now; that every bit of this will cause justice for Kayla. God was there with her when it happened. He knows.”

If anybody has any information concerning this case, please contact Kentucky State Police Post 10, Harlan, at 606-573-3131.