Tammy’s hectic lifestyle sometimes took a toll, though, and on December 3 she was feeling exhausted. The Woodside Apartments were holding their annual Christmas party that day, however, and five-year-old Melissa was keen to attend.
Indeed, Melissa eventually persuaded her mom to take her to the party. The little girl arrived at the apartment complex’s clubhouse for the celebration wearing a chequered skirt and a sweater featuring Sesame Street’s Big Bird. A gathering of some 80 people, it should have been a safe place for mother and daughter to spend some time.
However, even though Melissa had wanted to attend, her shy personality meant that she spent her time at the party close to her mother’s side. In fact, she would even ask Tammy for permission to visit the bathroom. When Tammy decided that it was time for them to go home, however, Melissa wanted to stay a little longer.