In 2011, Lunsford Conaway reported her 3-year-old daughter, Aliayah, missing. On Monday, she was found guilty of murdering her daughter.
According to Louis County WDTV, Conway was found guilty of one count of murder of a child by parent, guardian, or custodian or other person by refusal or failure to provide necessities, one count of the death of a child by a parent, guardian, or custodian or other person by child abuse, one count of child abuse resulting in injury, and one count of concealment of deceased human body. She was pregnant with twins when she reported Aliayah missing.
Tomorrow, officials will determine the results of a mercy verdict.
She Reported Her Daughter Missing on Sept. 24, 2011
BREAKING: A jury has found Lena Lunsford-Conaway guilty in the 2011 murder of her then 3-year-old daughter Aliayah.… https://t.co/MYfSIqwzKq— Taylor Eaton (@Taylor Eaton)1524519310.0
In 2011, Lansford called authorities to say that she had checked on Aliahyah in the morning, but when she went to check on her once again, she was missing. Search teams spent days looking for signs of the three-year-old to no avail. An official told WDTV that police canvassed the area by foot, used search dogs, and even had divers search for the young girl in the river. To date, Aliayah's body has not been recovered.
According to the Chicago Tribune, it only took the FBI six months to say they did not believe someone broke into the house and took the child. At one point in time, the outlet reports, the FBI was offering $20,000 for information leading to Aliahyah's whereabouts.
It was not until November 6, 2016, that Conaway was arrested in connection to the case. At the time, Vickie Bowen, Aliayah's great aunt, told the West Virginia Metro News, "We tried to prepare for this day... We've known in our hearts for years now that Aliayah is gone, but we all still held out that one little thread of hope. Now that's gone."
In 2017, witnesses reportedly said they saw Conaway bludgeoning a girl, according to CBS News. Aliayah's two sisters, who are older, also said they "saw their mom hit the girl in the head, then take her body to a wooded area," according to WTRF.