RICHMOND—Police in Virginia say a 17-month-old girl has died after being assaulted at a Richmond hotel.
The girl’s mother, Aija Brown, tells news outlets that Nariah Ivy Brown died on Friday, May 10, after being sexually assaulted two days earlier.
She says she left her daughter in a motel room with a man she trusted and returned to find her daughter wounded. She says Nariah was then hospitalized.
“A person of interest was taken into custody, but charges have yet to be announced,” according to ABC13.
The little girl’s aunt says the girl’s mother, Aija Brown, had left her with someone she knew and trusted in their motel room. She returned to find her baby had been horrifically assaulted. She rushed Nariah to the hospital, where she later died. https://t.co/OXlbgpq7FP
— WTVG 13abc (@13abc) May 15, 2019
City police have only said the girl was assaulted. Authorities haven’t released Nariah’s official cause of death or expanded on the type of assault she suffered. No charges were filed in the girl’s death as of Tuesday.
A vigil was held for the toddler on Tuesday night at Forest Hill Park. The family is looking for donations and started a GoFundMe page to help and afford funeral expenses.
“Nariah was an outgoing, happy and loving baby, whose life was snatched away from a mother, grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles and a host of a family who loved her deeply,” the GoFundMe page says.
The page added, “she had plenty of different loving personalities and loved to dance. Nariah Ivy Brown will be truly missed.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.
“Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children),” according to Childhelp.
Nationwide, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect in 2017, a decline from the 1,750 children who died from the same in the previous year.
Of the abused children, 25 percent were younger than 1 year old. Another 52 percent were between 1 year old and 5 years old.
Of the victims, about 75 percent were neglected, 18 percent were physically abused, and 9 percent were sexually abused.
NTD News staff and The Associated Press contributed to this article.