Family grieving loss of young Wiggins mother killed on Easter Sunday

The 22-year-old leaves behind three children under the age of two.
Memories are all family members of Kayla Cooper have left while they mourn.
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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WIGGINS, Miss. (WLOX) - A Wiggins family is heartbroken and three children are left without parents after a young mother was murdered early on the morning of Easter Sunday.

Zavago Wilson is charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend and the mother of his children, 22-year-old Kayla Cooper.

Kayla Cooper, 22, was murdered on Easter Sunday, leaving behind three children under the age of...
Kayla Cooper, 22, was murdered on Easter Sunday, leaving behind three children under the age of two. Police say her boyfriend and child's father Zavago Wilson is the one who shot her.(Cooper family)

Now, memories are all that Cooper’s loved ones have left to remember her by.

“No bad memories of her at all,” said Kayla’s sister Tekiyah Cooper. “She was a funny, goofy girl.”

“She was blunt, that’s what me and her had in common,” added cousin Kendall Harritton.

Cooper was found at her home on Harrison Street at 1:11am by a family member, said Wiggins Police Chief Jeff Thomas. Authorities quickly identified Wilson as the suspect in the homicide and issued a warrant for his arrest. He turned himself in hours later.

Kayla’s sister said there were no warning signs of any issues between the couple.

“I tried my best to take care of her,” said Tekiyah Cooper. “I always asked her is there anything and she just said there was nothing going on. It was just a normal day for her.”

Plans to go to church, enjoy dinner with family and watch little ones hunt Easter eggs quickly turned into tragedy and tears as word began to spread about Kayla’s death.

“That’s what threw everyone off, the shock. It was a normal day on Easter,” added Harritton.

Kayla Cooper was a devoted mother to her daughter, who is just under the age of two, and to...
Kayla Cooper was a devoted mother to her daughter, who is just under the age of two, and to twins, a boy and a girl who are one.(Submitted)

Kayla was a devoted mother to her daughter, who is just under the age of two, and to twins, a boy and a girl who are one.

“Since it happened, they haven’t seen her. They grabbed the picture and said ‘mommy, mommy.’ That just ripped us apart,” said Kayla’s aunt Paulette Johnson

“That was all that they knew,” Tekiyah added. “(Kayla) made sure they were straight. She kept them on a set schedule.”

Family members said Cooper’s tragedy is now forever embedded in their brains.

“We’ll call the other kids Kayla by mistake. We’re like ‘Kayla, oh I’m sorry,’” Johnson said.

Kayla’s aunt said they had a very close bond and often talked. She only wishes that her niece had confided in her about issues in her relationship.

“Some people might be scared to reach out. Do it anyway, do it and trust God, you never know,” said Johnson.

The family is now leaning on their faith in God to cope with the monumental loss.

“Something good is going to come out of it,” said Johnson. “We can’t see it right now, but no matter what, (God) will get the glory out of this.”

The family is also tasked with paying for the funeral for Kayla, as well as caring for her three young children. A Go Fund Me has been set up if anyone would like to donate. You can find that link here.

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