At 8 pounds, 8 ounces, Fayth Norman had platinum blond hair and dark eyes that twinkled with a newborn sparkle.
“It was Dec. 27, and I had just turned 16. She was amazing, she was so beautiful,” Candice Norman said.
A few days later, Candice took home her first-born, her “chunky monkey,” wrapped in a small red stocking, the kind Arlington Memorial Hospital issued to all babies born around Christmas.
“She was a very beautiful person, inside and out. She could always find the good in anybody, no matter what the situation,” Candice said in a telephone interview with the Star-Telegram on Friday.
This week — 15 years later — Candice was asleep when family members came to her door with the news her daughter was dead, killed by Candice’s mother in a murder-suicide at the Hilton Fort Worth downtown.
Charlott Livingston, 53, killed the girl and then fatally shot herself Monday in a room at the hotel, police said.
Four days later, Candice’s voice still cracked, torn from screaming the day she learned her child had died. She said she was shocked, paralyzed and angry.
Candice said she saw a Snapchat from Fayth showing her room at the Hilton and thought Livingston, the teen’s legal guardian for the last 10 years, had just taken her there for a nice Valentine’s weekend. But that’s not what evidence shows.
Livingston left a note, which Candice said she hasn’t seen because as it’s part of the investigation. But she said detectives described it to her as “selfish, hateful and disgusting.” They told her part of it explained that she took Fayth’s life so she wouldn’t have to go through the same things she went through in life.
Although Candice said her own relationship with Livingston was nearly nonexistent, Fayth was a peacemaker in the family and always tried to remind everyone to love one another.
“I have a lot of hate in my heart but maybe, eventually, with God’s mercy, I will get past that,” Candice said.
Instead, she remembers times when Fayth would jump into her bed and say, “Mommy would you just snuggle wuggle with me?”
She remembers that Melissa Norman, Fayth’s aunt, started calling Fayth “pooky smoosh.” Her five sisters, Kaitlynn, Krislynn, Aviana, Brooklynn and Haley, affectionately called her “Fayth-y” and she loved them all deeply, Candice said.
Fashion designer dreams
Fayth was the ultimate girly girl, Candice said. She loved music and wanted to go to the University of North Texas to become a fashion designer. She also loved playing volleyball and taking vacations to the beach.
“She loved absolutely everything. She was in love with the world, with people and with music,” her mother said.
Fayth lived in Mansfield most of her life and attended Mansfield High School until October 2016 when Livingston got divorced and they moved to Covington. There, she started attending Kauffman Leadership Academy in Cleburne.
A friend of Fayth’s reached out on Facebook to tell her mother about the first time the two met.
“She said it was a Friday and she didn’t even know her but Fayth walked up to her and said, ‘You are just so beautiful,’ and they’ve been friends ever since,” Candice said.
Fayth’s dad and stepmother, Buck and Vanessa Jenkins, began their relationship with Fayth about three years ago, Candice said. They had custody every other weekend and had spent as much time as possible with her in the months before she died.
The last time Candice saw her daughter was on Fayth’s birthday almost two months ago. They frequently talked via Snapchat, which is where she last told her daughter how much she loved her.
Fayth’s life will be honored during a memorial at 2 p.m. Saturday at Walnut Ridge Baptist Church in Mansfield, where she was an active member of the youth group. A balloon release will follow the memorial.
Fayth is survived by her mother, Candice, and Candice’s fiancé, Bill Guzman; her father and stepmother, Buck and Vanessa Jenkins; aunt, Melissa Norman; five sisters; Kaitlynn Norman, Krislynn Guzman, Aviana Guzman, Brooklynn Guzman and Haley Jenkins; and many other family members and friends.
Candice said she wants her daughter to be remembered for her ability to light up a room with her smile and for the love she had for everyone.
“She was beautiful. She was absolutely perfect,” her mother said.