Euclid neighbor says murdered 4-year-old lived in violent home

Updated: Mar. 14, 2018 at 2:49 PM EDT
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Sierra Day. (Source: Euclid police)
Sierra Day. (Source: Euclid police)
Deonte Lewis. (Source: Euclid police)
Deonte Lewis. (Source: Euclid police)

EUCLID, OH (WOIO) - After two people were charged in the death of a 4-year-old, a neighbor said she remembers violent incidents at the Cultural Garden Apartments before Aniya Day-Garrett died.

The 4-year-old girl died at the hospital. She suffered a stroke from blunt for trauma and also showed signs of malnourishment, according to officials.

Around 11:30 a.m. on March 11, Euclid police and fire were called to the family's home at the Cultural Garden Apartments on Lake Shore Boulevard for a report of an unresponsive child.

Her mother Sierra Day and her boyfriend Deonte Lewis have been charged in her death with aggravated murder. They are being held on $1 million bond each.

Dedra Manning, who lives in the apartment below the couple, said she called police after hearing what she thought was Lewis violently beating Day.

"She opened the door because they had been fightin' and he slammed her up against the wall and it scared me so bad I called the police," Manning said.

She said she went upstairs and told Lewis to leave.

"I had to go up there. I beat on the door. He was beatin' [the mother]," said Manning. "I never ever saw the child."

Police were called and escorted Lewis from the property, according to Manning. That was in February.

Cleveland 19 News has requested, but has not received, police reports about the incident.

The neighbor said that at some point Day allowed him to return.

"That's the problem with domestic violence, they break up a couple days and then they come back and that's sad when you know this man is capable of violence," Manning said.

Children and Family Services confirms they received three calls about Day-Garrett and at some point opened a six-week investigation but they say there was not enough evidence to warrant the 4-year-old's removal from the home.

Her family is devastated, "Aniya was a happy baby, she was a happy little girl," her grandmother Rachael Garrett said, "She loved to smile, loved to be with her dad. He called her sugar."

The department has launched an internal investigation that will include every case worker ever assigned to Day-Garrett.

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