VANCOUVER, Wash. — The grieving father of 5-year-old Hartley Anderson lunged at the man accused of murdering his daughter during an emotional court appearance Monday.
Ryan Burge, 37, of Vancouver was charged with killing the girl, the daughter of his girlfriend, after she suffered severe head trauma while in his care and later died.
During a brief but intense hearing Monday, with many of Hartley's family members and friends in the courtroom, the prosecutor described the scene inside the apartment where the girl died, including damaged sheetrock and imprints in the walls. "Very violent" was how the prosecutor described the attack.
There were wails and shouts of anger in the courtroom and Hartley's father rushed toward Burge before he was stopped by deputies.
"It's indescribable," said TJ Luchau, Hartley's uncle. "You go through anger, rage, confusion. You just don't know what to think, just why somebody could do such a thing. We want answers and justice. It's absolutely disgusting he did such a thing to my niece and took her from all of us."
Hartley's grandfather, Tim Luchau, said, "I hope the system works. I hope the system works.
"I'll never get to see her graduate from high school, be married or anything. He took that from us. He took the joy we had with her away. It will never be right without her. She was all of our lives and that's gone and that can never be brought back. I'll never get to hear her ask me to push her on the swing. Just one more time, just one more time."
The judge set bail at $5 million. Burge will be arraigned at his next court appearance Thursday at 9 a.m.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Hartley's family.