Family members mourn after 4-year-old killed

by: Jeff Smith Updated:

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TROY, N.C. —

Family members are grieving the loss of a talented 4-year-old girl, who was found murdered in her Richmond County home Friday morning.

Reba Ryan's grandmother shared with Eyewitness News a special cellphone recording from last week.

On the recording, Reba is heard singing a country song as a special gift for her mother, Monica Eddins.

"She always loved to sing, and I've got a recording," said grandmother Darlene Dimery.

Police said Reba was killed Friday morning by Eddins' boyfriend, while Eddins was away at work.

"My heart is gone. It just feels like everything's been ripped out of me," Dimery said.

Richmond County deputies said Eddins had been dating Juan Lilly for about a year. The couple lived together in Ellerbe at a house on Ledbetter Road.

Family members said Eddins came home from work Friday and called 911. Deputies told Eyewitness News a man took over the 911 call from inside the house and told dispatchers the girl wasn't breathing.

Family members believe it was Lilly who spoke to dispatchers, but deputies didn't confirm that Friday night.

Lilly has been arrested and charged with murder. Deputies are not saying how Reba died.

"He took my niece. He took a part of our family. He took a little girl that could become something great," said aunt Nicole Poindexter.

The family describes Reba as a beautiful, intelligent girl who loved to make people smile, and who dreamed of being a singer.

"This is my first grand-baby, and my only granddaughter. There's no words that could describe what I'm going through," Dimery said.

Lilly is charged with murder and he's being held at the Richmond County Jail without bond.