"Ya know, just holding her until her heart wasn't beating anymore, I knew that I would never get to hold her again. Ya know, I used to run my hands through her hair and I'm never gonna be able to do that again," Tracy said. "Just to think I'm never gonna be able to do those things again is really hard."
Tracy says her daughter was on a ventilator for nearly a week after being found trapped inside a wooden chest at her father's house.
She says the toddler's father, Guadalupe, put the girl in her bed on the evening Thursday the 12th and and shut the bedroom door for the night.
Tracy said her autistic daughter was full of energy and sometimes wouldn't. go to bed until 4 or 5am. She says that night was one of them. Her daughter got up, removed all the toys from the chest, locked herself in, and was found barely alive the next morning.
KIMA: "You say that you don't blame Guadalupe, because you feel like he did take good care of her in general. But as a mother, do you wish you were there to have been able to stop this?
"Yes, and you know, I'm gonna disagree with that statement just a little bit. It's not that I don't, it's just that it's really hard. Like I go, I know that he loves his daughter and I don't think he would do anything purposely to hurt her. I do blame for- I do feel like there was neglect," Tracy said.
Tracy says she has personal struggles and gave full custody to Ta'Leona's father years ago. However she recently got back on her feet, and has been working full time.She said she planned on getting a big enough place for her and Ta'Leona to live.
She says on their last day together they went to their favorite park.
A week later, Tracy was saying goodbye in a hospital.
"And I told her she was gonna fly with angels and momma was gonna see her again. "It's like- being a mom, ya know. Now you're not a mom anymore. It's just like, it's horrible," Tracy said.
We did reach out to the girls father but didn't get a call back.
We spoke with a family friend who says it is a tragic accident.
Tracy says authorities are investigating but no charges have been pressed. She says she has not been able to see the chest where her daughter passed because it was taken into evidence, but doesn't think it was a faulty box.