Gospel Singer Kierra Sheard Pays Tribute Online to Destani Smith, the 26-Year-Old Wayne State University Student who Drowned in Detroit River

26-year-old Destani Smith drowned while swimming with friends in the Detroit River

Gospel singer Kierra Sheard is paying tribute to a 26-year-old Wayne State University student who, sadly, disappeared in the Detroit River this past weekend. Her body was discovered and recovered Monday.

“I was honestly praying that something else would come of this,” wrote the saddened songstress on Instagram, reacting to the tragic death of Destani Smith, a pre-dental student, who went under water and never came back up.

Though Sheard, 31, does not share details of their relationship beyond a chat in “Fishbones,” presumably a Detroit-based eatery, she is deeply impacted by the loss.

“I’m still not believing it. Dear Lord, please strengthen the family of this beautiful young woman, Des,” continued Sheard, who also attended and graduated from Wayne State University.

According to a Detroit 7 Action News report, Smith and some friends jumped off the back of a friend’s boat docked at a beach near Belle Isle. As they were swimming in the river Saturday afternoon, the current picked up and dragged the boat away. While another boat was able to get some people to safety, Smith drowned.

Tineisha Taylor, Smith’s sister, said the owner of the boat was “an experienced swimmer and I think she felt secure being with him.

Unfortunately, it appears he was no match for the tide.

While the search was still underway, Smith’s sibling told reporters, “We’re devastated. You don’t wake up on a Saturday imagining that at the end of the day that you’ll have news that someone in your family is missing and may not be coming home.”

She also said, “We are people of faith, and what we do know is that life and death is in the hands of God, and our trust and faith is in Him, so that’s never wavering.”

Many prayers and encouragements have poured in as the family deals with the unspeakable pain of tragically losing a loved one.

Sheard ended her online memorial saying, “You were a jewel. I’m hurt that so many of us have so many great things to say to you while it’s too late.”