Family of Dunseith, ND girl killed in hit-and-run raises money for a headstone

DUNSEITH, N.D. (KVRR) – The family of a young Dunseith, North Dakota girl killed in a hit-and-run crash nearly two weeks ago is still coming to terms with the tragedy.

Eight-year-old Jaylynn Belgarde was the light of her family’s life.

“Her smile. Her smile says it all,” said Jaylynn’s cousin Paige Counts.

Jaylynn was walking to the convenience store with her cousins on April 17th when she was hit by a car and killed.

“Her little voice, everything, it’s not going to be there anymore, but we have her TikToks.” Her TikToks: photos and videos where the love Jaylynn and her mom Danielle shared can be felt through the screen.

“Her and Danielle were best friends,” Counts explained. “She was always taking selfies with her mom. Like, all the time.”

Now, her family is tasked with doing what no parent wants to do: picking out a headstone for their child.

“Jaylynn loved butterflies. She loved all kinds of colors,” Counts said.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family pay for a turquoise and pink butterfly headstone.

Her cousin says Jaylynn’s mom instantly knew that’s the headstone she wants for her baby girl.

“They say butterflies are messengers from past ones,” Counts recalled.

Although they’ll never have her back, she says Jaylynn’s spirit, smile and voice will live forever.

Click here to contribute to the family’s GoFundMe fundraiser.

Authorities say 25-year-old Joshua Forschen of Dunseith was behind the wheel when his vehicle struck Jaylynn.

He turned himself in last week and faces Hit and Run Involving Death and Manslaughter charges.

Categories: Community, Crime, Local News, North Dakota News