© 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Lena Lunsford Back in W.Va. Facing Charges

Lena Lunsford
Vicki Smith

The mother of a 3-year-old girl who disappeared in 2011 was  arrested Thursday in Florida and is back in West Virginia to face charges.

Aliayah Lunsford was reported missing on Sept. 24, 2011, from her home in Weston.

In a statement this morning Lewis County Sheriff Adam Gissy said the missing child's mother, Lena Lunsford is charged with death of a child by a parent by child abuse.

The Sheriff said that the investigation leads him to believe that the one person who possesses knowledge of Aliayah’s whereabouts is her mother.  The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the girl’s death was caused by her mother hitting her in the head who took steps to conceal it.

Lena Lunsford had reported she had checked on her daughter in her bed early that morning, and then found her gone when she looked in on her again later.

Lunsford spent eight months in prison for welfare fraud after her daughter vanished, then had additional short stays on probation violations. Her parental rights were terminated by the West Virginia courts, and her six other children were put in state custody.

WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.