INGLEWOOD, Calif. — A California man was arrested on suspicion of murder and child endangerment in the death of his 1-year-old daughter, whose body was found in the Los Angeles River, authorities said.
Jayveyon Louis Burley, 22, of Inglewood, was arrested Monday, according to Los Angeles County online booking records. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Burley faces one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death, KTLA-TV reported.
The body of Leilani Dream Burley was discovered near the Ocean Boulevard bridge along the Los Angeles River in Long Beach, KNBC-TV reported.
Police in Inglewood were contacted Sunday night about a missing child after Burley picked up his two children from their mother in Long Beach and arrived at his home with only one child, according to KABC-TV. The call was made by the child’s grandmother, the Los Angeles Times reported. The suspect lives with the woman, who is his mother, according to the newspaper.
The other child, a 3-year-old boy, was unharmed, KTLA reported.
“The murder of a child is absolutely horrific. Babies are helpless and rely on their parents for everything. Children should never lose their life at the hands of their father,” Los Angeles District County Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “My heart goes out to the surviving family members and everyone who knew this innocent baby girl. While we know there is nothing we can do to heal this extraordinary trauma, we will hold this person accountable for his callous actions.”
In an interview with KABC, Leilani’s mother, identified by the news station as Lynisha Hull, said Burley was angry “but normal” when he arrived to pick up the children.
“He came to my home to pick up my kids,” Hull told the television station. “He was angry at the time but normal, though. He was normal. He didn’t look like he was panicked at the time at all.”
Hull accused Jayveyon Burley of killing the child, saying that “he threw her off the bridge,” KABC reported.
“They told me they found my baby in the river, that her father dropped her over the bridge in Long Beach,” Hull wrote to KNBC. “All I can imagine right now: Was she screaming? Was she afraid? Was she saying ‘dada?’ Did he do something with his bare hands before he dropped her in the river?”
His bail has been set at $215,000, online jail records show.
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