Crime

Fundraiser to help daughter of slain Richland hairstylist

Jessica Rodriguez
Jessica Rodriguez Courtesy photo

More than a month after Jessica Rodriguez was gunned down at a family party, loved ones of the Richland hairstylist have few answers about her death.

The Aug. 2 shooting, which also claimed the life of Eduardo Flores, left Rodriguez’s 7-year-old daughter, Kennyah, without a mother.

Flores and Rodriguez were killed while attending a small get-together in Toppenish following a wedding, where Rodriguez, 29, was styling hair. Police believe the shooting was likely a drive-by.

Family members were leaving the party at 2:15 a.m. when the shots were fired, hitting the charismatic Zumba instructor while she was on the front porch.

A neighbor reported a car speeding from the scene but police have scant suspect information and no arrests have been reported.

Now, Rodriguez’s co-workers at Creation Salon & Spa on Keene Road are planning a fundraiser to keep their friend’s memory alive, and to raise money for her daughter, who is living with a grandmother in Yakima.

Stylists will be cutting hair on Saturday at reduced rates and a silent auction will be going on all day, said Daya Cuillier, the salon’s owner. T-shirts are will be for sale.

Businesses around the region donated items to the auction, with proceeds going into a fund for Kennyah.

“We have over 30 items,” said Cuillier, whose son was dating Rodriguez.

Some of the auction items include a a gym membership, hockey tickets, gift cards and hair care products.

Cuillier expects some of Rodriguez’s family from Toppenish to be at the salon, where her stylist chair remains empty as a memorial to her.

“I’m sure it will be emotional for (her family),” Cuillier said. “It’s emotional to see the love and support they get and that people aren’t forgetting about their daughter.”

Rodriguez moved to Kennewick from Toppenish and worked at Creations for more than a year before the shooting. Friends told the Herald Rodriguez wanted to move to the Tri-Cities to get away from some of the crime and gang violence in Yakima County.

Cuillier said she is hopeful Saturday’s event will help ease the pain that many at the salon are still feeling.

“Nothing we do will bring her back, so we just have to continue to move forward as best we can,” she said.

Anyone with information on the double murder is asked to call Toppenish police at 509-865-4355. For more information about the fundraiser, call Creations at 509-628-9700.

The fundraiser Saturday is all day at Creations Salon & Spa in Keene Plaza at 87 Keene Road.

Tyler Richardson: 509-582-1556; trichardson@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @Ty_richardson

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