A mother has been convicted of abusing and murdering her 3-year-old daughter in West Virginia
Lena Lunsford Conaway had previously stated that human traffickers who were a part pf a biker gang had taken her child
Multiple media outlets have reported that a woman in West Virginia who claimed that her 3-year-old daughter was kidnapped by human traffickers in 2011 has been found guilty of murdering the toddler. According to WVNews, a jury in Lewis County Circuit Court found 35-year-old Lena Marie Lunsford Conaway guilty on April 23 of four felony counts in the murder of little Aliayah Lunsford.
CBS News reported that the mother was convicted of the murder of a child by parent by failure to provide necessities, death of a child by parent by child abuse, child abuse resulting in injury, and concealment of a dead body.
Jurors went back to the courtroom on April 24 morning to decide whether Conaway should be eligible for parole. If convicted of the charges, she faces life behind bars.
Conaway had first reported that her daughter was missing from the family home on September 24, 2011. Court records show that she told the investigators at the time that when she checked on the toddler in the morning, the baby was asleep in her bed but she was gone when Conaway went back to check a few hours later.
WVNews reported that the prosecutors said in the court that authorities believe that Aliayah died inside the home many hours after her own mother hit her on the head with a board.
Her two older siblings testified in court against their mother saying that the toddler collapsed after their mother hit her on the head. They also said that Conaway would not take her daughter to the hospital and she wouldn't let anyone else in the house call for help either.
CBS News reported that the two older girls said that their mother then put their sister's lifeless body in the clothes hamper before taking it out in the woods and getting rid of the evidence.
One of the daughter's testified in the court saying she was still afraid of her own mother saying: "Her favorite line to tell us was: 'I brought you into this world, and I can take you out'."
Court records show that Conaway had tried to cover up her crime by telling investigators that her daughter had been taken by human traffickers who were part of a motorcycle gang.
Local news station WOWK-TV along with the Associated Press, reported that prosecutor Christina Flanigan told the jurors present that Conaway treated her toddler daughter worse than she would treat a dog. She made the point during the closing arguments.
Tom Dyer, the defense attorney has, in turn, said that there is no evidence to back up that the child had been killed.