A Virginia toddler has died, days after she was sexually assaulted at a Richmond hotel, Fox News reports.
The death of Nariah Ivy Brown has shaken the Richmond community, even as questions remain about what, specifically, happened to the 17-month-old.
Her mother, Aija Brown, said that last Wednesday, she left the little girl at a Richmond motel. Nariah was left in the care of a man the family trusted, and had known for years. When she returned, she found her daughter had been wounded -- although it's unclear, as of this writing, what is meant by that. Fox News reports that the young girl had been sexually assaulted, although the Richmond Police have neither confirmed nor denied that Nariah was sexually assaulted.
On Friday, two days after the assault, Nariah died.
Aija said, via The Richmond Times-Dispatch, that she held her dying baby in her arms and told her to go be with Jesus.
"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.'"Back in Nariah's Richmond neighborhood, neighbors held a vigil for the slain girl, known to her family as "Butter Bean" because she was "short and stout," her mother says. Charles Willis, the executive director of United Communities Against Crime, said that his agency wanted the world to know that the impact of violent crime extends to children, not just adults.
"We want to tell the world about little Nariah. She only stayed for 17 months, but made a big impact."Meanwhile, questions remain unanswered about what actually happened to Nariah -- and whether or not she'll ever have justice.
Richmond police have said nothing about this crime, other than to say that she was assaulted. Further, authorities have not released any information about the injuries she suffered, or how she is believed to have died. Similarly, the Virginia Medical Examiner's office has not, as of this writing, revealed Nariah's cause of death.
As of this writing, police have not named any suspects, have made no arrests, and have not filed any criminal charges.
Aija Brown, for her part, told her neighbors to watch over their children closely -- and to not ignore warning signs of danger from people they trust. "You can't leave your babies with just anybody," she said. "The things that happened to my daughter, I would never wish that on anybody. Don't ignore it, y'all."