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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

5-year-old girl critically injured in stabbing now breathing on her own

Kassie Dewey and her daughter 5-year-old Lilly were stabbed April 11, 2021.  (Courtesy Dewey family)

The 5-year-old seriously injured in a stabbing that also killed her mother began breathing on her own for the first time since medics whisked her to hospital earlier this month .

According to an update on the family’s GoFundMe, Kassie Dewey’s daughter, Lilly, is no longer aided by a breathing tube. Wednesday night, her father could cradle her in his lap for the first time since the attack, “which is the exact medicine she needs right now,” the update read.

Though a scan of her esophagus Monday showed the stab wounds in her throat healing properly, a tear is still leaking into her chest and lungs, causing an infection that she continues to fight, according to the GoFundMe.

“That will be a long road to recovery,” said the GoFundMe run by Lilly’s aunt Sierra Kellogg.

Lilly was still lightly sedated to prevent tears in her delicate wounds as of Monday. She has undergone several surgeries since the attack.

“Lilly is going in the right direction,” Josh Schmidt, the girl’s father, told KHQ Monday.

Schmidt is with her for at least part of every day, helping the doctors move her gently and holding her hand, he said. Before her breathing tube was removed, she couldn’t talk but could listen to him and shake her head yes and no, he said.

Dewey died from stab wounds to the head and torso. Lilly is healing from stab wounds in her throat and several organs.

Dewey’s ex-boyfriend whom she’d recently kicked out, 41-year-old Joshua Phillips, was arrested last Saturday on suspicion of killing the woman and attacking her daughter.

Dewey’s two children, who were not home during the attack, told police Phillips had lived with their mother from June 2020 until two days before the killing. She had kicked him out and changed the locks, according to court documents.

The day before Dewey’s killing, Phillips sent her more than 100 messages, some that were “very disturbing,” according to court documents.

Two other women have filed for protection orders against Phillips, according to court records.

Police found Phillips in Dewey’s garage with two running cars near the woman’s body and Lilly, gravely injured, according to court records. Phillips did not appear to have serious injuries but was confused, possibly from the fumes. He was hospitalized and arrested upon release from the hospital.

The arrest, “made me feel a little bit of relief,” Schmidt said. “But for something like this, there’s no words. His punishment couldn’t be bad enough.”

More than 2,000 people have donated to the family’s fund after Dewey’s death, raising more than $130,000. April 14, hundreds gathered at a vigil honoring the mother’s life.