One devastated mother warns parents to hold on to their kids, and always go to great lengths to keep them safe, after her 17-month-old was brutally assaulted when she was left alone with a person she trusted.
Aija Brown told WWBT that she left her daughter, Nariah Brown, in the care of her year-long boyfriend and an associate—whom she has known since the fourth grade—while giving a family member a ride.
“I said, ‘baby, I love you’…and I’m going to let you go with him… and I’ll be right back.”
However, when she returned, she discovered little Nariah had been violently sexually assaulted and sustained multiple severe injuries, “including punctured lungs and fractured ribs.”
“I was in panic mode, disgusted, in total shock… that anything happened to her.”
The mother discussed the tragedy with WTVR. She said administering CPR till the very end to save her baby:
“I was gonna’ always do anything to protect her. She never did anything to anybody. She wasn’t a mean baby. She was loving. She would go up to strangers hug them and smile.”
The toddler died on May 10 following the attack.
Brown, who was emotionally distraught during the interview, told the outlet she only left her daughter for a moment while running an errand.
Police have a suspect in custody, but no charges have been filed. Authorities are asking for the public’s help in the investigation.
The alleged attacker has not been identified. Brown said:
“I love my daughter…but I just want parents, anybody…keep your children close.”
According to RAINN, parents can protect their children from sexual abuse by choosing their caretakers carefully, especially when a child is too young to report abuse on their own.
A service celebrating Nariah’s life was held on May 14.
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Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.