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Loudon County family grieves, searches for answers after New Year's Day murder

LOUDON, Tenn. (WATE) - A Loudon County family is searching for answers while they grieve. They want to know why a young mom was shot, then dropped off at a Knoxville hospital on New Year's Day.

Knoxville police say Kayla Viars, 27, was dropped off in the lobby of East Tennessee Children's Hospital around 1 a.m. New Year's Day. Investigators say she had at least one gunshot wound and died at the hospital.

More: Knoxville police locate person of interest in New Year's Day homicide

Viars' family says she was kind, loving, outspoken, a wonderful mother and the glue that held her family together.

"She was close with everybody in the family and she was like our counselor," said her sister-in-law Brittany Wright.

Kayla Viars' brother Johnathon says the family's emotions are coming and going in waves. 

"We're all heartbroken and lost right now and just really don't know what to do," he said.

While there are so many uncertainties, the family is wrestling with one question.

"Why? Why is the biggest one. What did she do to deserve that?" said Wright.

Wright says in a sense they were robbed of time. 

"With me being almost four months pregnant, she was the only aunt my child was going to have and it's just like you guys took that away. Y'all took that away from everybody for nothing."

The family is begging anyone who may know anything about what happened to Kayla Viars on New Year's Eve to speak with investigators.

"Just please come forward and give her some peace and justice," said Johnathon Viars.

The last few days for the family have been devastating, having to tell her four children about what happened.

"We're going to do everything in our power and make sure that they always remember their mother," said Johnathon Viars.

Friends and family are invited to attend Kayla Viars' funeral services. There will be visiting hours from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Loudon Funeral Home. The burial will take place on Friday at 11 a.m.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses, adding Kayla Viars did not have a life insurance policy.

Knoxville police said Wednesday afternoon they had located person of interest Dominic Michael Brown, 27, who also goes by the name "True Story."

If you know anything about this case, you're asked to call police at (865) 215-7000.

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