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Mother, boyfriend indicted for murder of 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett

Aniya died of a stroke brought on by blows to the head.

CLEVELAND -- A mother and her boyfriend have been officially indicted on aggravated murder charges for the death of 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett.

Aniya's mother, Sierra Day, and her boyfriend, Deonte Lewis, were both indicted on a handful of charges Monday. Both face counts of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault and endangering children. They're scheduled for arraignment Thursday.

Aniya died of a stroke brought on by blows to the head on March 11.

Aniya's death has sparked outrage as protestors have demanded change within Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. Demonstrators held an overnight sit-down outside the county family services building Sunday.

MORE | Demonstrators hold overnight protest for Aniya Day-Garrett

Aniya's father, Mickhal Garrett, says he fought for custody of her prior to her death.

WKYC's investigative team found that Aniya was abused as far back as 2015 in the custody of her mother and her boyfriend.

Daycare workers detailed possible abuse 14 times last year in a Euclid Police report, but the state of Ohio says it never received anything from the daycare.

INVESTIGATION | Daycare for Aniya Day-Garrett failed to report abuse

Two weeks ago, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish announced the formation of a panel of child welfare experts to review the case. The panel will meet Tuesday morning with the following experts expected to join:

  • David Crampton PH.D., Associate Professor of Social Work at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at CWRU
  • LaJean Ray, Director of the Fatima Family Center since 1997 and longtime community advocate
  • Jan Flory, Child welfare expert with more than 30 years of experience including service with the New York City Division of Child Welfare
  • Marsha Rose Wickliffe, Institute for Human Services, More than 30 years of child welfare experience, at the county, state, and national level with a focus on systems
  • Lolita McDavid, MD MPA, Medical Director, Child Advocacy and Protection UH Cleveland Medical Center; Professor, Pediatrics, CWRU School of Medicine

The panel has been asked to independently review the case and assess whether daycare staff followed policies and procedures, compare the timeline of responses and services to the state guidelines and assess whether the investigation and case work reflect solid child welfare practice.

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