A Mississippi model and mother of two was run over Saturday night, allegedly by the father of one of her children.
Brittany Rhea Phillips was killed Saturday night around 8 p.m. in Oktibbeha County.
Lt. Brett Watson told local station WTVA that deputies arrived at the scene to discover a pedestrian, later identified as Phillips, had been hit by vehicle along Riviera Road.
Phillips was transported to a nearby hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
James Heath Kitchens, 30—who a friend of Phillips identified as the father of one of her children—was taken into custody and charged with manslaughter in the death, local station WCBI reports.
“That was the mother of his child that he ran over,” friend Rachel Phelps told the outlet.
She alleged Kitchens was abusive and said the pair had been in a rocky relationship before Phillips’ death.
“There are so many people that know what she’s been going through for a long time and we just want justice for her and her babies because he took their mother from them,” Phelps said.
Those who knew Phillips described her as a successful model and mother.
“Brittany was the kind of person that once you had just one conversation with her … you realized she wasn’t just all looks and superficial,” friend Angel Boatright said. “She had so many of her own opinions. She would do anything to improve anybody’s situation or anything they were going through.”
Her obituary in The Daily Journal said Phillips had been a licensed cosmetologist who also founded the company Beauty Perfected.
“Brittany was given the opportunity to travel the world and visit many beautiful countries with her career in modeling which she thoroughly enjoyed,” it read. “She enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her precious children.”
She left behind a son and daughter, according to the obituary.
Phillips had also been pursuing a degree at Mississippi State University. Her family now plans to open a home for abused women in her honor, the obituary said.
Kitchens, a former police officer, was released from the Oktibbeha County jail after posting a $25,000 bond, the local station reports.
The Tupelo Police Department confirmed to WTVA that Kitchens had been working as a police officer in the department from January 2019 to May 2020.
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