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Family grieves over loss of mother and unborn child

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Updated: 6/11/2013 10:18 pm
ITAWAMBA COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Shawnitta Dye has trouble holding back tears as she talks about her daughter, 23-year-old Amber Parker.

"She was a beautiful daughter, a beautiful mother and a beautiful mother-to-be, and she has two beautiful children that are gonna miss her so much," Dye said.

Parker died Tuesday morning after a fire ravaged her mobile home in Itawamba County.

She was also seven and a half months pregnant at the time.

While investigators try to get to the bottom of what started the blaze, family friend Jonathan Best has his suspicions.

Best said he stayed there Monday night and was asked by Parker's fiancee Alex Witcher to change a light bulb, but felt something wasn't right.

"[Alex] was gonna put a light bulb in there and it shot sparks at him and so we stopped. We turned the breaker off, and I guess he did something to the light fixture and rewired it, and then it worked," Best said. "It was working fine. Nothing out of the ordinary."

The mobile home was an older one, but whether the wiring proved to be a factor in causing the fire remains to be seen.

"It could be several different things. We'll eliminate them as they come, but as far as a cause of fire ignition, we do not have a cause at this time," Itawamba County fire investigator Doug Lesley said.

Still, Amber's friends and family remain heartbroken about the sudden loss of someone they say had so much promise.

"There wasn't anything to describe Amber. She was different and she just...I can't do this," godmother Tammy Smith said, sobbing.

Authorities say her fiancee, Alex Witcher, could not get Amber out in time but saved her two children.

For that, Dye says she's eternally grateful.

"I know y'all were looking so forward to the baby she was fixing to have, and I love you son, and I always will," Dye said.

Witcher remains hospitalized in Memphis in stable condition.

Authorities say the burns and lacerations he sustained after escaping the home are not believed to be life-threatening at this point.
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