(11/17/2016)
UPDATE 11/17/2016 - Lena Lunsford has waived her right to a preliminary hearing in Lewis County.

Lunsford faces a charge of "death of a child by a parent by child abuse" in the death of Aliayah Lunsford.

A preliminary hearing in the case was continued.

Lewis County deputies said Lena Lunsford hit Aliayah with a solid, handheld object, which caused her death in September 2011.

Lena Lunsford is now scheduled to be in court next Wednesday.

ORIGINAL 11/04/16 - The mother of Aliayah Lunsford, a child who has been missing in Lewis County since 2011, has been charged in Florida in connection with her child's death.

Court documents from Pinellas County, Fla., said Lena Marie Lunsford, 34, a fugitive from Lewis County, was arrested Thursday on a child abuse resulting in death charge.

Tammy Harris, a secretary for Lewis County, W.Va., Sheriff Adam Gissy confirmed that Lunsford had been arrested in connection with her child's death. She said a news conference would be held at 11 a.m. Friday in Lewis County with more details on the arrest.

Aliayah Lunsford disappeared without a trace in September 2011 in Lewis County when she was just 3 years old.

The girls' parents, Lena and Ralph, have been in and out of jail on other charges, but were never publically deemed "suspects" by a host of investigators including the FBI, West Virginia State Police and the Lewis County Sheriff's Office.

Lena Lunsford served eight months in federal prison on welfare fraud charges and moved to Wheeling before eventually moving Florida, where she was arrested.

In 2013, the Lunsfords lost all parental rights.

At a hearing in 2012, a circuit court judge found "that the parents had more knowledge about Aliayah's whereabouts than they revealed but refused to provide that information to the court."


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