It was a heartbreaking scene: A grieving dad could no longer control his emotions after his daughter's alleged killers were arraigned in court last week.
Earlier this month, 4-year-old Aniya Day Garrett was found unresponsive in an apartment complex in Euclid, Ohio, according to Fox8 in Cleveland. She was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The medical examiner's office called her death a homicide. The child suffered blunt impacts to her head which lead to a stroke. Aniya was also reportedly malnourished.
Sixteen minutes earlier, a 911 caller reported that the girl was conscious and breathing, but a police officer would later note in his report that Aniya "had been deceased for some time."
The suspects? Garrett’s mother and her boyfriend, Sierra Day and Deonte Lewis. Both are being held on $1-million bond each on aggravated murder charges, according to WOIO in Cleveland. It’s unclear if either have lawyers who can speak on their behalf at this time.
As they were brought into the courtroom last week, Aniya’s dad Mickhal Garrett became visibly distraught. Loved ones had to console him.
"You killed my **** daughter," he cried. "You hurt my baby."
At one point, Lewis shot a look back at the courtroom crowd, prompting Mickhal to become inconsolably upset.
The father said he had been trying to tell police that his daughter was being abused, Fox8 in Cleveland reported. He had been fighting for custody of the little girl. Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services told Fox8 that they had conducted three investigations into Aniya's case. In fact, there was an open case into the alleged abuse at the time of her death.
"I did everything in my power to let them know you know that I was a stand-up dad and that my daughter was being harmed and abused at home and this was an emergency,” the father told Fox8.
When Aniya’s mother called 911 after the girl became unresponsive, she blamed her injuries on food from Red Lobster, according to WOIO in Cleveland. Even though Day and Lewis allegedly told 911 that Aniya had been breathing, police noted that she had been dead for some time, according to WOIO. A GoFundMe created to help pay for Aniya’s funeral stated that the child “was such a sweet angel, always smiling.”