A mother and her 4-year-old daughter – critically injured in a multiple stabbing Friday that killed the woman’s 6-year-old daughter – “are doing a lot better,” the woman’s older brother said Tuesday.
Speaking of his sister’s and niece’s recovery, the man said: “They were up and smiling.” The 4-year-old was able to play with a young cousin, he said.
The mother, in her 20s, and daughter remain in a hospital, the woman’s brother said.
He asked that his name not be used to protect the identity of his sister and her daughter.
The man arrested in the attack on the woman and children – 47-year-old Hassan Wright – was charged Tuesday afternoon with 17 crimes, including first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of rape and three counts of aggravated criminal sodomy.
The woman and her daughters are part of a large family that is in the midst of healing after the tragedy, the brother said.
“The family is handling it well. … My sister is very strong.”
Wichita police found the woman and her 6-year-old daughter with stab wounds in a vehicle in a south Wichita shopping center parking lot. The younger girl also was found wounded wandering in a field near 77th Street North and Ridge Road.
Police said that Wright is a relative of the woman’s. His charges include attempted aggravated arson, three counts of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of a convicted felon in possession of a weapon – a knife, according to the criminal complaint.
Wright is accused of stabbing his adult cousin “multiple times in the chest, abdomen and wrists,” according to the criminal complaint filed in connection with the case.
He is also accused of stabbing the 4-year-old girl “multiple times in the abdomen.” The complaint alleges that Wright poured oil throughout a Jeep and on his adult cousin and the 6-year-old girl “and attempted to start a lighter,” intending to set the vehicle and victims on fire. But the lighter did not work.
All of these actions occurred between Nov. 3 and 4, according to the criminal complaint.
Wright, appearing in court via a video monitor at the jail, was silent throughout his brief court appearance, other than to say “No” when Judge Jeffrey Goering asked whether he had any questions.
Wright’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. on Nov. 22, and his bond was set at $1 million.
In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, the woman’s older brother remembered the 6-year-old who died this way: “She would brighten the room with her smile, her energy.”
Although she was only 6, he said, “She would study people’s emotions. She would come and give hugs to everyone and ask everyone how they were doing.”
One day while he was deployed overseas, the girl managed to call him on her mother’s phone.
“Hi, uncle, how are you?” he recalled her saying.
“That was a really tough day for me. Just the sound of her voice, it was incredible. It was really healing and nurturing for me.
“She was definitely a blessing to have around.”