Alana Sims: 'Devoted' Florida mom, 22, found dead next to SUV in which 23-month-old son slept
TAMPA, FLORIDA: A young pregnant woman was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a residential street of a Tampa, Florida, near her Ford EcoSport SUV, in which her 23-month-old son was sleeping. The body of 22-year-old Alana Sims was identified by her loved ones on Tuesday, January 31, who also revealed that she was five months pregnant at the time of her death.
"Alana was the best person you could be around. She wasn't around drama," said Sims' mother, Shahlevi, per People. "She stayed to herself you know just a real down-to-earth person," Shahlevi continued, adding, "She loved being around her nieces, she loved her son and her family." The Tampa Police Department found her body shortly after 10 pm on Monday, January 30.
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"She shouldn't have to die young," Shahlevi said, remembering her as "a lovable soul." "And everybody should know that, you know, your loved ones, you want to keep them close because you just don't know," she added. Sims would have celebrated her 23rd birthday on February 13.
How did Alana Sims die?
Although investigators have not released many details surrounding her death, police said that Sims showed signs of upper body trauma. Fortunately, her son, who was in the car's backseat when police arrived, remained unharmed and is now being looked after by his family. The investigation is still ongoing and homicide detectives have spoken to people in the surrounding area. They have not yet named any person of interest yet.
Tampa PD spokesperson Crystal Clark told 10 Tampa Bay that Sims was a victim of a targeted attack. "I can tell you, when she was laying on the ground, it appeared she had been deceased for a bit of time," she said.
What did the neighbors say?
One neighbor reportedly alleged that they heard several "pop" sounds, similar to those of gunshots recorded on an outdoor camera, but the footage reportedly failed to capture what happened to the woman, Fox News reported.
A GoFundMe has been created to cover the costs of Sims' funeral. So far, the fundraiser, organized by the late woman's mother has raised more than $7,500 and has exceeded its $4000 goal. Sims is described in the GoFundMe as "a devoted mother who has a son who she loved very much."
Anyone with information related to this incident is urged to call the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130 or share a tip through TIP411, accessible through the TampaPD app.