Father praying for healing, justice after daughter found dead under church steps in Cleveland

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CLEVELAND --  The Reverend James Washington of Straightway Bible Fellowship in Cleveland Heights said he was stunned when he received a phone call from authorities, notifying him that the body of a woman found under a set of stairs behind Broadway Christian Church on September 17 was that of his daughter, 31-year-old Jasmine Washington, the mother of three young children.

"This is a pain that I don't wish on anybody; it's just, I can't even express the pain because the pain is so intense. I'm only able to deal with it because of my faith, because of what I believe, and God, and knowing that he's a comforter."

The medical examiner said Jasmine Washington died of blunt force trauma to the head, and a maintenance worker at the church found bloody gardening tools nearby including a shovel.

As he tries to understand how anyone could take his daughter's life, Reverend Washington said he felt compelled to go to the church in Slavic Village.  "Just to stand in an area where your daughter lay dead and to know that this is where someone took her life; that was very difficult to deal with - very, very difficult to deal with."

Washington is now praying for healing in his family and justice for his daughter.  "First of all, it brings closure to my family about her death and we just want whoever, you know, whoever did this to held accountable for it. We're not talking about, you know, vengeance, because the vengeance belongs to God."

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Cleveland police or CrimeStoppers.

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