Aliayah Lunsford- West Virginia- 2011 Aug 21, 2015 11:04:46 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Aug 21, 2015 11:04:46 GMT -5
(Pictured: Above: Left: Aliayah (circa 2011) Right: Age-progression to 5 Photo Credit: Charley Project)
Missing Child Profile as of August 21st, 2015: (based on missingkids.com poster)
Missing Since: Sep 24, 2011
Missing From: Weston, WV
DOB: Jul 29, 2008
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Weight: 35 lbs
TIPS: Anyone having information should contact 1-800-THE-LOST or the Lewis County Sheriff's Office (West Virginia)at 1-304-269-8245
Aliayah Lunsford was only 3-years old when she went missing from her Weston, West Virginia home. Her case was mentioned on the December 17th, 2011 episode of America's Most Wanted. Below is the Charley Project description of the case:
Aliayah was last seen in bed in her Weston, West Virginia home on September 24, 2011. She had been sick with flu-like symptoms, including vomiting, the previous evening. When her mother, Lena Lunsford, went to check on her at 6:30 a.m., Aliayah was in bed asleep. The child's nine-year-old sister also saw her around that time. The next time her mother checked, at 9:00 a.m., she was gone. She has never been heard from again. Her mother didn't report her missing until 11:30 a.m., five hours after she was last seen and two and a half hours after Lena realized she was gone. She said that in the interim she drove around in her car looking for Aliayah, running out of gas at one point. A photograph of Lena is posted below this case summary.
There were no indications of forced entry to the house, and an extensive search of the area, including a nearby river, turned up no sign of the child. Aliayah's family described her as shy and said she would never have left her house or yard alone. Nine days following Aliayah's disappearance, her four siblings, aged between nine months and eleven years old, were removed from the household and placed in foster care. The state Department of Health and Human Resources didn't give a reason, but it's worth noting that all of Lena's children, including Aliayah, had previously spent time in foster homes or with relatives. She was pregnant with twin girls at the time Aliayah went missing.
In the month following Aliayah's disappearance, Lena was arrested on federal charges of welfare fraud. She pleaded guilty in January 2012 to selling $114 in stamps for $50 in cash, and was sentenced to eight months in prison. She and her husband, Ralph Keith Lunsford, who is Aliayah's stepfather, both have criminal records for various charges for minor offenses. (Lena has filed for divorce.) Authorities haven't said whether she's a suspect in her daughter's disappearance, but they believe Aliayah is probably deceased. Lena says she knows nothing about what happened to Aliayah and only hopes she's still alive. Her mother, who occasionally cared for Aliayah, died in early 2012.
In February 2013, while Lena was still incarcerated, she lost her parental rights to her other six children. Ralph, who is the father of five of the children, also had his parental rights terminated. The court found the Lunsford children had been neglected and some of them had irreversible tooth decay as a result. Court documents noted that Lena and Ralph had "vaguely accused" each other of involvement in Aliayah's disappearance; the court believed Lena knew more about her daughter's disappearance than she disclosed. She was released from jail later that month.
Little evidence is available in Aliayah's case. Investigators stated they have a theory as to what happened to her and they don't believe anyone broke into the house that night. Her disappearance remains unsolved.
Thoughts? While once again, all persons of interest are considered innocent until charged and proven guilty, it sounds like even investigators believe Lena knows a lot more than she's letting on. Whether she had anything to do with it, or she didn't but knows that Ralph Lunsford or someone else has something to do with it is another story.
Also, for anyone wondering, Lunsford was initially said to resemble the Deer Island, Massachusetts Baby Jane Doe, but has since been ruled out as a possibility.
(Pictured: Above: Lena Lunsford Photo Credit: Charley Project)
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