Overexposed: Family's fight against website targeting daughter - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Overexposed: Family's fight against website targeting daughter

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LAMONT (KWWL) - An eastern Iowa family is mourning the loss of their daughter, while desperately battling to preserve her memory.

It's a fight they never thought they would have to have against an enemy they don't even know. 

"Full of life. Like, everybody loved her," said Jessica Taylor, Kiarra's mother.

Kiarra Starks-Taylor was a two-year-old with a big heart, and full of life.

"She loved her mommy and her daddy and her SpongeBob," said Marcus Taylor, Kiarra's father.

Kiarra would have been three this year. She was very curious and loved the water.

"Middle of the day -- it ain't even bath time yet -- she was trying to get in the tub," said Marcus Taylor. 

June 25, 2014, is a day the Taylors will never forget.

Kiarra was at her grandparents' home when she wandered outside.

"They have alarms on the doors so if you open it, it beeps, and they took the ladder out of the pool and everything. But she was so smart she pushed it over and jumped in," said Jessica Taylor. 

She was found motionless in the pool. Jessica didn't even know what happened when she was picked up from work.

"I think it's a little harder for Jessie to say, but she tried to give her CPR too," Marcus said. "But by the time she got to the hospital, she was gone already."

Kiarra touched the lives of so many people. But little did the Taylors know they would have to continue to their fight to preserve her memory.

Recently, a friend alerted Jessica to a website. It tells the story of how Kiarra died, but in a hateful, hurtful, racist way. It calls Kiarra a "mutant" and her parents "breeders."

"The posts were posted three days after she died," said Jessica. "And I was just like, that's your worst nightmare multiplied. Because not only do you lose a child, but you're a target."

The Taylors were desperate to get help. They took the website to the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office, who then took it to the county attorney's office.

"I just couldn't believe my eyes," said Shawn Harden, county attorney. 

Harden says three different attorneys in his office looked at the website.

He says he believes the website is certainly hate speech, but the people posting aren't necessarily making threatening posts towards the family. The big issue is finding out who's behind it.

"The people aren't using their real names -- they have some kind of screen name," Harden said. "So to get that information behind those screen names, we'd have to use a county attorney subpoena or search warrant.

"However, in Iowa, if the crime you're investigating is a simple misdemeanor, you don't have those options," said Harden.

Harden says they spent several days investigating it, but ultimately won't be able to pursue it past a simple misdemeanor.

The Taylors are continuing to find other avenues to fight this, looking for anyone who would help -- including reaching out to the Waterloo Police Department, a Waterloo attorney and KWWL.

They wonder if it's someone they may know. Their Facebook pages were set to private, but it looks like someone pulled posts and pictures from their sites.

"You're a coward. You need to grow up and go get a real job and mind your business," said Marcus Taylor. 

The Taylors say they'll continue to fight to take down the site.

KWWL has chosen not to publicize the name of the website in hopes to limit harm for the family.
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