Alabama's death toll from Wednesday storms has now reached 238. In the hardest area of Tuscaloosa 45 people died. One of the dozens who died in Tuscaloosa was from the River Region. Loryn Brown grew up in Elmore county. She died when the twister hit her Tuscaloosa home. WSFA 12 News reporter Sally Pitts sat down with Loryn's parents for an emotional interview looking back on their daughter's life and last words.
"Not many people can say they were talking to their child when they died, I can," explains Ashley Mims. She watched the live footage in horror. She knew her daughter was in the tornado's direct path. Ashley called Loryn immediately. "She said mom I'm scared. I said it's okay. The phone went dead. I knew at that moment she was dead."
Loryn's father, Shannon and her grandfather headed to Tuscaloosa. Her grandfather arrived first, with heavy equipment to help clear debris. "Loryn always said Papa would make it right. I knew he and Shannon would find her." They did find her in the midst of the rubble. Ashley's roommate and a friend also died in the house.
Shannon and Ashley are struggling to believe their little girl is gone. Her parents say Loryn was a gift from God.
Loryn planned to attend Alabama in the fall, now her parents are planning her funeral. As they mourn the loss of their child, they're also praying for the many other families who also lost someone in the storms.
Ashley tells us that someone found a picture of Loryn and Shannon in Cleveland, Tennessee. Ashley has contacted that person and plans to get that picture back.