A Las Vegas valley mother is in jail accused of killing her daughter.
It started when the mother tried to claim her daughter was kidnapped from a store Thursday night. But police say the young girl’s body was found inside the mother’s home on the eastside of the valley near Lake Mead and Hollywood boulevards.
The little girl’s grandmother told 8 News Now, she has had custody of 3-year-old Dejah since she was born. Dejah had only been staying with her parents temporarily.
Situmba Stansberry, the grandmother, says the child was her “everything.”
The frantic search Thursday night led to a devastating discovery.
“My heart is broken and I don’t think it will ever be the same,” Stansberry said.
She sends a sound of sorrow when she speaks about her late granddaughter Dejah.
“She lit up when she saw me, she was always with me, she was in my bed, she would sing to me, kiss me, feed me, she is my everything, she just was my everything.”
Police found a body matching the child’s description stuffed in a duffel bag in her mother’s master bedroom closet Thursday night.
“The officer opened up that bag and found garbage bags,” said Metro Lt. Ray Spencer. “He opened up one garbage bag and had to continue through several different garbage bags, when he found the body of a very small child.”
This, after Aisha Thomas, 29, reported the 3-year-old missing in an Albertson’s parking lot. Officers and neighbors canvassed the home and surrounding area for hours.
“I said, I blame you and she’s missing. I blame you, because you should have never took your eyes off her, she doesn’t talk too good to tell you who she is,” Stansberry said.
She recalls the surreal moment she learned about Dejah’s death.
“I didn’t know that I would wake up after dozing off to news media stating it had been updated to a homicide, that my granddaughter was no longer alive.”
Thomas is now behind bars facing an open murder charge.
“She told me it wasn’t her fault,” Stansberry said. “I’m trying to wake up from a nightmare.”
The family is now left to grieve for a little girl gone too soon.
Police says Child Protective Services visited the house in 2017. 8 News Now reached out to Clark County for more information, but they say they can’t provide any details but will release a report in the next few days.
Dejah’s father was also arrested on a charge unrelated to the child’s death back on Aug. 19.