CLEVELAND — A Cleveland police officer was found dead in her home early Monday morning, four days after a 13-year-old girl was killed by an armed carjacker fleeing from the police.
Tamia Chappman, 13, was killed on Dec. 20 when the 15-year-old armed carjacking suspect drove up onto a sidewalk, striking and killing Chappman, The Plain Dealer reported.
WOIO reports police said Officer Ashley Hibbard took her own life the day after Chappman was killed. Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer told WOIO Hibbard, 32, had been involved in the investigation into Chappman’s death.
Police say it is unclear whether the death or investigation were factors in Hibbard’s death.
In interviews with Cleveland.com, Chappman was remembered by community residents as a mature young woman who loved reading and her family.
“She would help her brothers read all the time,” said Eileene Manley, a safety monitor at the East Cleveland Public Library. “She was her mom’s little lady coming to be.”
In the comments on a Facebook post by the Northeast Ohio Medical University Police Department remembering Hibbard, those that knew her shared their shock and grief.
“She was such an amazing person!” wrote Kristi Jackson. “I had the pleasure of meeting her at work and become friends. She always put others first and always had a smile and infectious laugh!!! She will be missed by so many...”
“(Hibbard) always had a way of making you feel loved and special,” read her obituary. “Her contagious smile and joyful heart will have a lasting impression on all who knew her.”
Hibbard is survived by her mother and sister.