Jarvis Diggs had one of those smiles.
It could light up a room and even turn a bad day into a good one in a matter of seconds.
Jarvis’ family and friends have been trying to channel that infectious smile over the past two weeks after the 28-year-old was killed on the evening of May 1 in an apparent hit-and-run near the Green Acres apartment complex along Kinlock Road.
He leaves behind his fiancée, Hannah Beck, a 1-year-old son, Jalen and a 9-month-old daughter, Aria.
“He’s got the brightest smile I’ve ever seen, all the time,” Hannah told The E-T during an interview this week. “He was always happy.”
Jarvis and Hannah met while the two were living in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
“He gave me his number one day when I was walking my dog,” Hannah said.
Hannah said the two hit it off immediately, and she didn’t hesitate to dial that number in order to see him again.
“He was amazing,” she said. “He really was.”
A little over a year ago, Jarvis found out that he was going to be a father.
“He was nervous, he was scared and he was excited all at the same time,” Hannah said.
All of those nerves went away when he met his son, Jalen.
Jarvis’ sister, Jarrika Diggs, said that by the time his daughter Aria arrived, Jarvis’ Mississippi family was eager to see him, Hannah and the kids move to Indianola.
And that’s exactly what they did this past winter.
Jarvis got a job at the Dollar General warehouse, and he worked hard to provide for his family, Jarrika said.
Both Hannah and Jarrika agree that Jalen looks just like his daddy. He even has his smile, they said.
And Aria had Jarvis wrapped around her finger from the time she was born.
“She’s a daddy’s girl,” Hannah said. “That’s what she says all the time is ‘daddy’ and ‘da da da da.’”
For Jarrika, the loss of her brother has been an unending torment.
Jarrika, Hannah and Jarvis’ entire family are hoping that someone will come forward with information that might lead to the arrest of the person who left the scene that night.
Better yet, she hopes the person responsible will simply come forward and turn themselves in.
“It just makes me so mad, because they know what they’ve done,” Jarrika said.
The police have been looking at camera footage from the surrounding area since the night Jarvis was killed, but as of press time, there have been no solid leads.
Jarrika, who lives in Southaven and works in the Memphis area, said she was home for the weekend that Saturday.
“He (Jarvis) texted me around 6 (p.m.) and told me to bring him some dish soap,” Jarrika said. “I didn’t text back. I was busy at the moment.”
A little while later, she saw a post on Facebook.
“I shared a post on Facebook,” she said. “The post said, ‘There’s a dead body on Kinlock. Check on your people.’”
And she did just that.
She called her two other brothers, but Jarvis’ phone was “unavailable.”
As the night wore on, she started getting vague texts and even calls asking where she was and what she was doing, but she still had no idea what had happened.
“My boyfriend was over, and he was getting phone calls,” Jarrika said.
Finally, her boyfriend’s brother informed them that it was Jarvis who had been hit.
Hannah was at their Indianola home with the kids.
“His cousin and uncle came and told me after they found out,” Hannah said.
For Hannah, dealing with Jarvis’ death has been difficult. They were supposed to be married this coming fall.
“It’s been very hard,” she said. “I’m doing the best I can.”
She has since moved back to Fort Smith to be closer to her family.
Jarrika said she has tried to remain strong for her mother Julie Diggs’ sake, but she has spent many an hour since May 1 driving around Indianola alone.
“I get so mad, I just cry,” she said.
Jarrika said she has even driven around, looking for cars that might have damage from the impact that night.
“My mom’s prayer, my grandma’s prayer, my aunt’s prayer and my prayer is whoever did it, we just pray they don’t get any sleep at night, any rest at night. We pray they come forward. You know you killed somebody,” Jarrika said.
Hannah said she also pleads with anyone who has knowledge or might have been involved to come forward.
“I wish they would,” she said. “It would help a lot.”
Jarvis will be laid to rest this coming Saturday, but until the person responsible for his death is brought to justice, his family will not be able to rest.
“It’s definitely going to take some time and prayers,” Jarrika said.
According to his obituary, Jarvis is survived by: his father, Jerry Harris; his mother, Julie Diggs; one daughter, Aria Diggs; one son, Jalen Diggs; five sisters, Jarrica Diggs, Jarlisha Diggs, Amber Harris, Angie Harris and LaJerrich Harris; four brothers, Jamarius Diggs, Thire Johnson, Jerri Harris and Jarius Harris; and a host of other relatives and friends.