Dateline NBC airs story of 'Miracle Baby' Erica Hughes - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Dateline NBC airs story of 'Miracle Baby' Erica Hughes

By Shayla Reaves - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville story grabbed national attention on Dateline NBC Sunday. The network premiered "Against All Odds" a one-hour detailed account of the shooting that seriously injured Erica Hughes and left her mother Earon Harper dead.

The shooting happened at the family's home on Wilson Avenue in May 2006. NBC's Hoda Kotb told the story of Erica's recovery and the police investigation including interviews with Erica, her family, doctor and LMPD's lead investigator who handled the case. Rick Arnold shared his memories from the day of the shooting.

"We were headed to Wilson Avenue, 17th and Wilson Avenue as the caravan of cars taking Erica to the hospital to save her life was going the other direction," Arnold recalled.

Arnold said he made a promise to a then 2-year-old Erica's grandmother. He promised to find those responsible for the shooting discussed with Hoda Kotb in the Dateline interview.

"That's a lot to promise somebody,isn't it?" Kotb said.

"Yes it is," Arnold said.

Erica watched the Dateline special with Arnold and other supporters at Bearno's Pizza on Main Street Sunday. Kotb detailed the now six-year-old's inspiring recovery.

"By day four in the ICU Erica's family was seeing signs of hope. Doctors believed Erica was strong enough to remove her breathing tube. Now it was time to see how she'd do on her own," Kotb said.

"I was rubbing her hand and she was like 'Mommy!' Everybody was like oh my goodness she's speaking!" Erica's older sister Ebony Harper said in an interview.

The Dateline NBC piece included the investigation, interrogation, arrest and conviction of Kenneth Williams and James Quisenberry. Williams was convicted of murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Quisenberry received a sentence of 45 years for his part in the crime.

Arnold kept the promise he made to Erica's grandmother.

"Never give up. Always have faith and think that you can get the answers if you work hard enough for them," the investigator said after watching the Dateline NBC premiere.

Activist Christopher 2x attended the viewing.

"She is a constant reminder to everyone one of us, especially for me, that children are the examples of what we should live for," Christopher 2X said." When we feel down, they're the constant motivator (sic) to bring us up."

Sunday marked the four-year anniversary of Erica's release from Kosair Children's Hospital according to Christopher 2X. Friday the hospital named Erica their new child safety advocate.

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