Mother of missing girl charged in connection with her death

(Inside Edition) The mother of a little girl who has been missing for five years has now been charged in connection with her death.

Lena Lunsford, 34, was arrested in Florida on Thursday and will be sent back to West Virginia, where the death reportedly occurred.

She is charged with death of a child by abuse in the death of her then 3-year-old daughter Aaliyah Lunsford.

The criminal complaint states that Aaliyah died from a blunt force trauma strike to head.

Aaliyah was reported missing from her West Virginia home in September of 2011.

Lunsford allegedly told police that she put her daughter to sleep and when she went to go check on her she was gone.

At the time, police and the FBI scoured the area searching for Aaliyah, but she was never found.

According to the criminal complaint against Lunsford, witnesses observed Lunsford strike the girl in the head while inside their home. Aaliyah then fell to the ground from the injury, according to the complaint.

Lunsford didn’t allow anyone present at the time to call for help, although the child was suffering, and she allegedly died hours later, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges that Lunsford then attempted to conceal the crime by making up a kidnapping story, “destroying evidence, concealing the victim’s body” and telling witnesses to keep quiet.

Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy said at a news conference that police believe they have the one person who knows where Aaliyah’s body is located in custody.

WSAZ previously reported, Lena Lunsford was jailed three times in the two years following her daughter's disappearance; although those arrests were unrelated to the case.

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