Girl Dies After Tick Bite Infection

A 6-year-old North Carolina girl has died from Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks.

Emilee Russell of Black Mountain, N.C., died Wednesday, two-and-a-half weeks after she was bitten by a tick over Memorial Day weekend, ABC affiliate WLOS reported. Her family was visiting relatives in Texas at the time of the tick bite.

“Just … that pretty little smile … she could just look at you with that smile and break your heart,” said Emilee’s father, Steve Jones, battalion chief of the Black Mountain Fire Department.