‘She was my little sister:’ Springfield woman speaks out about sibling killed in crash

The older sister of a Springfield woman killed in a car crash on Sunday said she’s still dealing with a lot of grief after the accident.

Jessica Cydrus was Heather Kestner’s “little sister.” Kestner said Cydrus was a very giving and loving person.

“Jessi would give you the shirt off her back. She’d give it to anybody,” Kestner said. “It didn’t matter who you were.”

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Cydrus was driving her Toyota Camry east on John Street around 4:15 p.m Sunday when an SUV that was speeding, drove through a stop sign at Portage Path, smashing into the driver’s side of the vehicle, according to police.

The driver of the SUV was identified as 18-year-old Micah Byrd, of Springfield. He was taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center, according to the report. An update on his condition was not available Wednesday.

We’ve reached out to police to find out if Byrd is facing any charges in the crash.

Cydrus was also engaged to Jeff Rife when he was killed last year. Rife was killed in March when he was shot on the 500 block of South Clairmont Avenue.

Kestner said no arrests have been made in the case, and her family never had closure from his death.

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“When (Cydrus) was awake, she was trying to find out who killed Jeff. She needed to know who killed him,” Kestner said.

Kestner said if she could do anything — it would be to find Rife’s killer to get justice for the family because it’s what Cydrus would’ve wanted.

“I would love for, if anybody knew anything about Jeff’s murder,” Kestner said. “If I could give my sister anything, it would be for an arrest to be made — for my sister, for my niece.”

The couple had a daughter together, Taelor Cydrus, who is 16 now.

Kestner said Taelor Cydrus has been staying with her since Monday. In the past two years, she’s lost both of her parents to preventable deaths.

“She is the strongest little girl. She will break down, but she knows she has to keep going,” Kestner said. “(Cydrus) should’ve been able to live for Taelor, but somebody took that away.”

A memorial service for Cydrus will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday at Littleton & Rue Funeral Home in Springfield.

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