Canton, GA – The wife of a Canton police officer died unexpectedly on Sunday, less than two weeks after giving birth to the couple’s daughter.
Canton Police Officer Jessie Lee, 26, and his wife, Brianna Lee, are also the parents of a four-year-old son, William, according to a fundraising page established to help the young family in the wake of their loss.
Brianna was just months away from her 26th birthday when she died of a “brain injury” on Jan. 16, Officer Lee told WXIA.
The abruptness of the tragedy has left her family reeling.
“I don’t know what happened to her. She was she’s perfectly fine an hour before that happened,” Officer Lee told WXIA. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”
Fellow Canton Police Officer Domenick Marotta, who has been helping organize fundraisers to support the young family, said Brianna’s death was “catastrophic.”
“It was completely unexpected,” Officer Marotta told WXIA. “No one saw it coming. It blindsided everybody. The loss of life sucks, but this hit them so hard because it was so unexpected.”
Brianna had just given birth to the couple’s daughter, Amelia.
“When we found out we were having a girl, she was over the moon,” Officer Lee recalled. “There’s no words to describe how excited she was about that. I’m just thankful that she was able to spend at least a week with her. She was the happiest that I’d ever seen her, at least in a long time.”
Officer Lee and Brianna had been together since their senior year of high school, when he spotted her crying outside of a classroom, WXIA reported.
He asked her what was wrong, but she didn’t want to talk.
“She kind of gave me this look and told me to get lost,” Officer Lee recounted. “I left and later on that evening I sent her a message saying ‘I’m here if you need anything.’ The rest is history.”
They were together for nearly nine years and got married five years ago, WXIA reported.
Their relationship included many relocations, especially while Officer Lee was serving in the Marine Corps.
Brianna followed him through five deployments and eight years of service.
“She said, ‘You’re it’ and he said, ‘I’m going to the Marine Corps,’ and she said, ‘I’m with you,'” Officer Lee’s mother, Melissa Morris, told WXIA. “She totally, totally backed him, loved him, immersed herself in his entire world…Loves her babies, best sister, best daughter, daughter-in-law, auntie, wife, mom, friend. We couldn’t ask for more.”
Brianna was extremely supportive of her husband’s law enforcement career and went out of her way to help take care of his fellow officers.
She would “do anything for anybody and anyone,” Officer Marotta said.
“Bri would come up, she would bring food for everybody. She made sure everybody was fed,” he recalled. “We’re gonna miss her.”
A fundraising page to help Officer Lee’s young family has raised over $65,000 so far.
“If I could trade it all to have her back, if I could change everything to have her back, I would give anything. I still don’t know why things like this happened,” Officer Lee told WXIA. “There’s no replacing her. She was it. Everybody says they have a one and only. She was mine. She was, she still is, she’ll always be.”