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Aliayah: Bruised face photograph

We’ve all seen the bruising on Aliayah’s face on the latest poster released by the West Virginia Fusion Center and available for download (here).

Quick to quash the rumors, Jeff Killeen of the FBI was widely quoted in the press:

FBI Special Agent Jeff Killeen said investigators don’t know what caused it or why Aliayah Lunsford is missing four teeth.

He said children can have marks and missing teeth for many reasons. But Killeen said the photo was taken shortly before Aliayah vanished from her Bendale home and is one of the last known images of her.

The bruising has led to obvious speculation on the Internet that Aliayah was physically abused. It has also led to questions asking about her hair because the poster image has been cut out of a larger photograph.

To this end, Aliayah’s aunt Vickie Bowen is quoted as saying:

Vickie L Bowen Randy talked to Jo Ann and this is what he told me. Jo Ann said the picture was taken on July 10th on her cell phone. That she is not sure who took the picture, but that Aliayah was running and ran into a door facing causing the bruising. She said she had to sign a release to let FBI use this photo and asked for it to be edited. She said they told her they would try. It was edited to take other people out of photo. Randy said he and his wife were at JoAnn’s when she signed the release. Randy states that Aliayah was not abused while in Jo Ann’s care.

West Virginia Fusion Center's image on their latest Missing Poster for Aliayah Lunsford.

We do not have a link to the source of this quotation from Vickie Bowen, but if true, then Jeff Killeen’s comment that the photograph was “taken shortly before Aliayah vanished…” is relatively wide of the mark. July 10 is over 70 days before September 24 and 2 1/2 months could be construed as quite a long time before the toddler disappeared.

Given the background, living conditions and criminal history of Lena and Ralph Lunsford, there is a high probability that Aliayah was abused or at the very least a neglected child. After all, the children were all potentially deprived of food if Lena was selling her food stamps for cash at less than half price.

However, regarding this photograph, let’s tread cautiously before jumping to the wrong conclusions.

The original photograph that was used to create the poster image used by the West Virginia Fusion Center. Aliayah is having her hair brushed into a ponytail by her aunt on July 10, 2011.

13 Responses to “Aliayah: Bruised face photograph”

  1. 1
    kacie Says:

    why hasnt anyone released how her teeth were missing???

  2. 2
    Jessica Says:

    It’s so sad to think, that little Aliayah had to endure all this abuse at such early age, and even more disturbing, is the fact, that many members of her family knew about it, and did absolutely nothing to stop it.

  3. 3
    Kacie Says:

    i just cant figure out why nobody has released more info, and why no more news has been mentioned about her, i hope they havent forgotten about her, there is answers out there they just gotta find them!!!

  4. 4
    karen Says:

    I hope they haven’t given up on finding this little angel.thoughts and prayers from belpre ohio.god bless

  5. 5
    Lilly Says:

    I hope they will find her. Its sad to see she had been abused for 3 or 2 years!

  6. 6
    Hillary Says:

    Just because she was bruised doesn’t mean abuse… 3 year olds get hurt and bruised all the time. If she was abused I don’t think they would have been taking her picture, they would have been avoiding public knowledge of her bruises.

  7. 7
    Ally Says:

    Hillary you can search the case of Alissa Guernsey. Before she was killed by abuse she had photo taken by her abuser and it was a clear evidence of all her sufferings. Look straight to the eyes of abused children and youll see the truth.

  8. 8
    Angie Says:

    IMO she did NOT run into a door. She ran into a fist. Poor child.

  9. 9
    Angela Says:

    Or maybe the relatives DID take it on purpose with the intentions of showing it to the cops and maybe they were threatened. Nobody knows but I do know that little girls do not get bruises all the time. And certainly not bruises that look like someone punched her.

  10. 10
    TJ Says:

    According to family Aliayah was running on wet floors and slid hitting the door frame and she got back up smiling! There are reports that Aliayah may have been smacked against a wall and knocked out just a few days before her disappearance so the origin and the date of the bruise is questionable.

  11. 11
    deborah Says:

    God there are some monsters out there…..

  12. 12
    Mari-jean Says:

    This girl we absolutely murdered and the police know who the prime suspects are..that child has the eyes of aneextremely frightened sad child.

  13. 13
    Jennifer Says:

    That poor child was absolutely harmed by her drug addict parents (and I use that term loosely). It’s widely known that bath salts cause aggressive,violent behavior and murderous acts. The child was obviously physically abused, but we’re expected to believe she just took off from her room and there no trace or her ever again?

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Aliayah Lunsford Allegedly Last Seen

  • 3116 days, 18 hours, 14 minutes ago

About Aliayah Lunsford

Age 3, Aliayah Lunsford's mother claims that she last saw her daughter at home on September 24, 2011 around 6:30 a.m.

Aliayah has brown eyes and hair, is around 3 foot tall and weighs about 30lbs.

Last seen wearing purple Dora the Explorer pajama bottoms, pink princess sweatshirt and no shoes, Aliayah's ears are pierced and she is missing four (4) front teeth.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, call the Lewis County Sheriff's Department at 304-269-8245.


What happened to Aliayah?

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