4-year-old Ohio girl dies, mother and boyfriend now charged: police

ohio toddler found dead couple arrested
Source: Lima Police Department

Apr. 16 2021, Updated 11:23 a.m. ET

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A 4-year-old girl in Ohio was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead, and now police say her mother and boyfriend are responsible for her death.

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A frantic 911 call around 2 p.m. on April 12 sent officers to the residence of Romiere Hale, 21, and Stayce Riley, 23, for an unresponsive child, according to the Lima Police Department.

Once on the scene, police said they found a 4-year-old, My’Laya Dewitt, inside the home. The child was taken to a local hospital, where medical personnel could not revive her.

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The child’s body was taken to the coroner’s office and an autopsy was being conducted, authorities said.


According to Hometown Stations, the detective sergeant with the Lima Police Department said, “We did notice that the child did have injuries on her body.” Because of that, “she was transported to Lucas County for an autopsy so a thorough examination can be taken care of.”

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Riley was interviewed at the scene and police said that injuries were also present on her body.

Garlock said and Hometown stations reported, “[Riley] had sustained some injuries that were indicative of possible abuse.” These injuries were also investigated, police said.

Hale was also taken into custody and held on a preliminary charge of suspicion of child endangerment.

“He was a household member at the time, so of course with situations like this those are the people that we speak with first of all," Garlock told the station. 

During the 911 call, a man can be heard frantically saying “please get somebody” to their location. The caller continued and said My’Laya had “been sick the last few days and she’s not breathing.”

Authorities charged Hale with murder in connection to the death of Dewitt. They have also authorized a felony warrant for child endangerment against Riley.


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