Vanessa Bryant’s agonizing statement reveals why she held out hope Kobe and Gigi survived the crash

Vanessa Bryant’s testimony in her case against Los Angeles County continues to be even more heartbreaking. Following the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna (aka Gigi) in January 2020, Bryant was shocked to learn that members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff and Fire Department had allegedly shared horrifying photos of Kobe and Gigi’s bodies. The trial officially began on August 10, and Nicki Swift was present in the courtroom the entire time.

Those following this case have continued to hear and read facts about the crash and the investigation, including reported insensitive comments about Kobe’s body. However, Vanessa’s grief and hearing personal testimonies from the families provide more insight into the emotional fallout of it all. As painful as it seems, their presence has shown the impact of this tragic accident (and images) on the families who remain behind, tearfully August 19.

In her continued testimony, it emerged that Vanessa initially believed Kobe and Gigi survived the crash — despite receiving “RIP Kobe” notifications on her phone on the way to the crime scene. And the reason for their hope at that time is devastating.

The Bryant family had a special app that tracked their locations

According to Nicki Swift’s court reporter, Vanessa Bryant walked through the courtroom from her perspective through the day of the helicopter crash. Kobe Bryant’s assistant first broke the disturbing news of the accident, initially sharing that there were “five survivors.” At the time, Vanessa believed that there were only five people in the helicopter at all. Of course it turned out to be nine.

In her court testimony, Vanessa also still believed Kobe and Gigi were fine after tracking their locations and revealed her family had the Life360 app on their phones. This specialized app not only tracks the location of family members, but can also detect accidents and take emergency action. The app showed Gigi in a church while Kobe was near a hill. With this information, Vanessa believed Kobe was simply helping someone at the crash site while Gigi was safe with another parent. Tragically, that turned out not to be true.

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Once Vanessa reached the sheriff’s station, she kept repeating to the staff, “Where are you? Where are they?” in reference to Kobe and Gigi. But, as she tearfully recalled, “everyone was staring at me.” Eventually, sheriff Alex Villanueva told her that no one survived the crash. Testifying at the time, she begged Villanueva, “If you can’t bring my babies back, please make sure you secure the area.” Tragically, her plea appears not to have been granted.