The official cause of death of Maliyah Bass, a 2-year-old Texas girl found dead floating in a Houston bayou in August, is homicide, medical examiners said Friday, according to KTRK.
The toddler’s mother and the mother’s boyfriend are already behind bars, charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence, particularly a human corpse, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
The mother, 21-year-old Sahara Ervin, reported Maliyah missing on August 22, and her body was found in Bray’s Bayou the following day.
Ervin said that she had been watching from a window as the little girl played in her apartment complex playground. She turned away momentarily, and when she looked back, her daughter was gone. Ervin and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Travion Thompson, appeared on local television during the search for the little girl, crying and begging for help.
But the two were arrested early last month after authorities said the little girl had a broken arm and “looped-pattern bruising all over her body.” The medical examiner believes the girl was beaten with an extension cord-like object or a hanger-like object, KTRK said.
Thompson allegedly confessed after his arrest but put the blame on Ervin, saying that she beat the toddler with a hairbrush when she was crying and wouldn’t sleep. Court records said the pair put Maliyah in a broom closet, naked, and woke up to find he dead the following day. According to the court documents, Thompson said they put the girl’s body in a storm drain on August 22, the day Ervin reported her missing. The body floated along the drain into the bayou, where a jogger found the body.
Prosecutors said in court in October that a video shows Thompson carrying a trash can to a storm drain at the apartment complex.
Ervin is due in court on December 16, and Thompson’s next appearance is the following day. Jail records indicate the charges against them have not been upgraded.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is our latest episode.
[Feature Photo: Maliyah Bass/Handout]