A toddler died from injuries that she suffered after a “violent sexually assault” at a motel in Richmond, Virginia. police said the assault took place Wednesday and the baby died Friday.
Richmond police confirmed the person of interest in the case was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals.
Aija Brown, 17-month-old Nariah’s mother, said she had left her daughter in the motel room with someone she trusted.
“I was gonna always do anything to protect her. She never did anything to anybody. She wasn’t a mean baby. She was loving. She would go up to strangers hug them and smile,” Brown told CBS 6.
Brown added that the baby was prematurely born and battled for life for over three months after birth. She said she had pledged to her daughter that she would never leave her side. She kept her promise until the very end by giving the baby CPR when she thought the girl wasn’t breathing.
“When I held my daughter in my arms for the last time, I said, ‘Baby, I love you. And I’m going to let you go with Him.’ I’ll be right behind you. I’ll be up there, and I’m going to hold you again,” she said, Richmond Times Dispatch reported.
Speaking about Nariah, Brown said the girl had a radiant personality and loved Disney Jr.
“She loved puppy dog pals and loved dogs. She’d say ‘woof-woof.’ She was just really learning to talk,” she said.
Brown said she was emotionally distraught over her daughter’s death. She added that her family was supporting her and she would have to learn to move on without the baby.
A vigil was kept for the baby at Forest Hill Park on Tuesday night during which Brown told people to watch over their kids and hold them close. She also told them to not ignore any warning signs.
“You can’t leave your babies with just anybody. The things that happened to my daughter, I would never wish that on anybody. Don’t ignore it, y’all,” she said.
Police said no official charges were filed against anyone in connection with the death. The cause of the death was also now known.
Meanwhile, the family started a GoFundMe page and was looking for help to pay for the funeral services.
“Nariah was an outgoing, happy and loving baby, who life was snatched away from a mother, grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles and a host of family who loved her deeply. She had plenty of different loving personalities and loved to dance. She suffered tremendous amount of injuries that called her home to be with the Lord. Nariah Brown will be truly missed. Please continue to keep her family in your prayers during this incredibly tragic time,” the page read.