— Aidan McLeod (@djaidan0517) June 18, 2014
Cali, as she was known by loved ones, was a gentle and generous child who strived to help people. Here’s what you should know about Cali and the tragic circumstances that took her life.
1. She Had Just Moved to Nebraska
The Omaha World-Herald reports Cali and her family recently moved to Pilger to help out her grandparents, Kay and Les Labenz. Les Labenz has a muscular condition that makes walking difficult, so having the family there provided the Labenzes with help around the house and gave Kandi Lynn Murphree, Cali’s mother, child care. Cali had two siblings, a 4-year-old sister named Robin and a 21-year-old brother named Cody.
2. Her Mother Is in a Medically Induced Coma
KMTV reports Murphree was put into a medically induced coma after she was discovered on the road with lacerations to the front and back of her head. She is expected to survive.
When her son, Cody, heard news of the tornado, he called his mother to tell her to find shelter for herself and his sisters. He left his job at Heritage Homes in Wanye, Nebraska, shortly thereafter. By the time he arrived, it was too late. He told KMTV:
From what I hear they were trying to make it to across the street to either the bank or the gas station, but by that time it was just too late and everything hit.
3. Cali’s Sister, Robin, Survived
The Omaha World-Herald reports that Murphree and Cali Dixon were found lying in the street, the family mobile home nowhere to be found. Robin was running to find help. She only had a few scratches on her, reports KMTV. Robin, or Peanut, Cali’s younger sister, was called “a tough bird” by her grandmother.
4. Cali Wanted to Be a Doctor
The Omaha World-Herald reports Cali used to tell people to call her “Doctor Cali,” because she was always focused on helping people. Both Robin and Cali spent a lot of time with their grandparents. Before the family moved to Pilger, Kay Labenz commented on photos of Cali and Robin posted to her daughter’s Facebook page, saying ” Grampa les, and gramma kay really miss you girls.”
5. The Family Is Accepting Donations
Cody Murphree contacted KTIC Wednesday morning to tell his family’s story. Donations are being accepted at Heritage Homes, where Murphree works. Most specifically, people are encouraged to donate clothes, as all of Robin Dixon’s clothes were lost when the family’s mobile home disappeared after the tornado.
The town of Pilger was leveled today as twin tornadoes tore through northeast Nebraska.Click here to read more