A Baton Rouge mother was busted Wednesday for allegedly killing her 2-year-old daughter, whose body was recovered in the Mississippi woods last week.
Lenaya Cardwell was charged with murder for the slaying of Nevaeh Allen, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Neveah was first reported missing on Friday, Sept. 24 when police responded to Cardwell’s residence where Cardwell’s live-in boyfriend, Phillip Gardner, told police that he had awoken from a nap and could not find the toddler. Cardwell was reportedly at work at this time.
Nevaeh’s remains were found in a wooded area near Hancock, Missippi on Sunday.
Cardwell’s boyfriend, Phillip Gardner, was arrested for his part in disposing of Nevaeh’s deceased body and bringing it across state lines earlier this week. He was charged with unlawful disposal of human remains and obstruction for allegedly dumping the dead child’s body.
Nevaeh’s death was ruled a homicide by the state coroner’s office. However, more details on her death were not yet available pending further investigation.
“As a law enforcement agency the safety of our citizens is of the utmost importance, and this is especially true for our children,” Chief Paul said. “As a parent, the wellbeing of my children is sacred and I’m sure the same is true for everybody who is watching … “
“I would like to offer my personal condolences to all those who loved this little angel… we are lifting you up in prayer during this difficult time.”
Cardwell told reporters in tears on Friday that she had been at work all day, and it was unlike Nevaeh to go off on her own.
“Nevaeh’s not known for wandering around, I’ve never once had to correct Nevaeh for leaving the house without an adult,” Cardwell told reporters through sobs. “That’s all I know. If you see my baby please contact the police. Please I just want my baby home”