In September of 2011, Lena Lunsford told West Virginia police that her 3-year-old daughter Aliayah had gone missing. She said she had looked in on the child earlier in the morning, and everything was fine. But, on a second checkup three hours later, the girl was simply gone. There was a massive search for the child. Flyers, canvassing, dredging the lake: the whole nine years. But despite the efforts of law enforcement and volunteers alike, no trace of the little girl was ever found.

Police still don’t have a body, but they do have a suspect. Police say that no one ever broke into the home, and Aliayah was never kidnapped. Rather, they have witnesses who now say they were there when Lena murdered her own daughter.

Aliayah Lunsford (Image: Family Photo)
Aliayah Lunsford (Image: Family Photo)

On that day, Lena, now 34 years old, would have been 8 months pregnant with twins. The witnesses said that she “knowingly” and “intentionally” bludgeoned her daughter in the head, then refused to seek medical attention for the child. Lena watched as her daughter died, then began covering up the crime. She hid the body and told those present to keep quiet. Lena then called the police, and reported Aliayah missing.

Lena would give birth to the twins shortly thereafter. She was later charged and convicted of welfare fraud, apparently after selling $114 in stamps for $50 in cash. She spent eight months in jail for the crime. Lena and her husband both had their parental rights terminated in regards to their six other children, and Lena would return to jail for cocaine possession and violating her probation.

It is unclear who these new witnesses are, nor is it known why they waited so long to come forward. Perhaps they were Lena’s other children, too young to understand the gravity of the situation. Perhaps it was her husband, and her children’s father. The couple has since filed for divorce. Investigators had long suspected that Lena was lying and knew more than she let on, and had also concluded that no unknown party had ever been inside Lena’s home the day her daughter disappeared. If this scumbag mom has any amount of decency, perhaps she’ll at least let investigators know what she (allegedly) did with little Aliayah’s body, to give the rest of her relatives peace.

Image: Lewis County Sheriff’s Department