Cop dad dies before she’s born. Years later, mom notices she keeps staring at man in pizza shop.

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Cop dad dies before she’s born. Years later, mom notices she keeps staring at man in pizza shop.

Officer Joseph Quinn was at a local Italian restaurant in Helmetta, N.J., picking up his dinner when the employees told him it was already paid for. Some sluething revealed a little girl named Mikayla Raji bought his dinner while she was also at the restaurant that night, dining with her mother.

Joseph struck up a conversation with the little girl and her mother Marisol, thanking her for the kind gesture. But Joseph wanted to know more about their story, and he and the other officers of Jamesburg Police Department applied good old-fashioned police work to dig up why the little girl was so intent on paying for Joseph’s meal that evening.

They discovered Mikayla’s dad, Thomas Raji, was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty by a drunk driver in 2008. Mikayla never met her dad, because she was born seven months after Thomas died. Marisol had been a police officer as well but later retired.

The police department gave an open invitation to Mikayla and her mom to visit anytime, which the mother-daughter duo took up, developing a closer relationship to the officers. The police department even invited Mikayla and her mom to march with them in their Memorial Day parade.

But their generosity doesn’t stop there: the officers created a GoFundMe page to raise some money for Mikayla’s education.

“The members of the Jamesburg Police Department would like to try and help raise funds for Mikayla’s future education,” they wrote. “Mikalya is a wonderful kid, with a big heart who loves to do kind things for people.”

Watch Mikayla’s story below, and see how a big-hearted little girl honored her father in a unique way — and created a fulfilling new relationship for her and her mom…

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