A 34-year-old Mississippi woman has been arrested in connection to the death of 4-year-old girl who, authorities say, had been dead for quite some time before being discovered, according to reports.
Greenville police found the body of 4-year-old Zyiah Smith Sunday in an apartment near Johnnie Lane after getting a request for a welfare check. That request came from Zyiah’s father Leonardo Smith.
Pamela Hall, grandmother of 4-year-old Zyiah, said she and Zyiah’s mother, Nyeisha Dixon, hadn’t seen the child for nearly two years. During that time, Dixon said she had been trying to find out about Zyiah’s wellbeing from her father who had sole custody, and from the department of human services.
“I had just got a call recently that my daughter, she was upstairs in the house locked up. I don’t know how long she’s been dead. But I wish somebody can come forward and help me figure this thing out because I think she deserved the answers that we looking for,” said Hall.
Right now, no one is saying much about how the child may have died or when she died.
Hall continued, “I don’t know how long she’s been dead, but by her being in the Tupperware, a tote or whatever they had her in, her body had decayed completely out. I just need some answers and I wish the public to just come forward to help me figure this out because I need some answers.”
Police say those answers may come soon.
Police Chief Marcus Turner said, “We’ve made an arrest in the death investigation of 4-year-old year old Zyiah smith who was found in the apartment complex off johnny lane. Arrested in this case is 34-year-old Catricia Hardy, who has been formally charged with child deprivation.”
Turner added that pending the results of the autopsy, the charge against Hardy could turn into a murder charge.
Hardy has been charged with both child deprivation and manslaughter according to Turner.