Investigation Underway After 1-Year-Old Found Dead At Los Angeles Bus Stop

Tragically, Yayra Rutherford, the family’s 1-year-old daughter, died last month while they were living on the streets close to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Amantha Van Cleave, a homeless mother in Los Angeles, is struggling with the loss. The distraught mother claims that if the city had given her and her two small children proper shelter, her child’s life might have been saved.


After fleeing an abusive relationship and being new to the city, Van Cleave and her two kids ended up living on the streets for a while, first in their car. Van Cleave worked as an Uber driver to support her children, but the family still had to deal with the terrible realities of homelessness.

Their living arrangements eventually led to the deadly incident at a bus stop close to LAX, having previously consisted of the cramped interior of their car.

Challenges Faced

1. Denied Shelter Requests: Van Cleave discloses her frantic efforts to find a place to stay, contacting a number of the city’s homeless assistance organizations. Sadly, the family was left out in the weather after her requests for help were turned down.

2. Health Concerns: The cause of Yayra’s death is still being looked into; exposure to the cold or an unidentified illness are two potential theories. Van Cleave talks about how hard it is to get health care if you don’t have a place to live.

Investigation Underway After 1-Year-Old Found Dead at Los Angeles Bus Stop

2. Limited Support: The mother, a certified pharmacy technician, found it difficult to get a job in Los Angeles because of the scarcity of secure housing. She was committed to providing for her kids, but she had a hard time getting the resources she needed.

City Response And Criticism

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass acknowledged the family’s circumstances in a statement following the unfortunate occurrence. In order to provide the family with temporary housing choices, the Mayor’s Office collaborated with PATH, a homeless assistance group.

Mayor Bass emphasized the need for quick fixes and underlined how urgent it is to solve homelessness, particularly as it relates to families with children.

With over 75,000 homeless people in the city, Mayor Bass encountered obstacles in achieving her lofty housing goals despite her pledges to fight homelessness. The event emphasizes how urgently vulnerable communities need crisis and long-term housing solutions.

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Systemic Issues And Call for Action:

1. Overwhelmed Hotline: Given the excessive volume of calls the 211 hotline received over the previous winter, Van Cleave’s difficulties in getting through to the hotline may be indicative of systemic problems. The event acts as a wake-up call to address the shortage of crisis and permanent housing options available to marginalized communities.

2. National Homelessness Crisis: New York and Los Angeles are home to a sizable percentage of the country’s homeless population. The tragedy serves as a reminder of the more significant problem of homelessness and the demand for all-encompassing solutions at the municipal and federal levels.

Yayra Rutherford’s premature death highlights the hard reality that homeless families must deal with and the urgent need for practical, compassionate solutions. The tragedy is a sobering reminder of the immediate steps needed to combat homelessness, offer sufficient help, and stop other tragedies in our communities, even as investigations into it proceed.

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