Police in Detroit, MI issued an Amber Alert Sunday, July 24th for little Mariha Trenice Smith. Meanwhile, police were also investigating an arson fire in a vacant building about a mile from the home Mariha and her mother and siblings were sharing with her aunt. A badly burned child’s body was discovered in the burned out vacant home. Autopsy results confirmed the body was little Mariha. The only bright side, if you can call it that, is that Mariha died of asphyxia before her body was burned. I call it a bright side only because she wasn’t burned alive. She shouldn’t have died by any method but, in my opinion, being burned alive is significantly worse. To be fair, I’m clearly still alive so I could be wrong but it really doesn’t matter.
Now, onto the investigation of Mariha’s death. Mariha, her three siblings and her mother were living with Mariha’s aunt, Quanita Smith and her boyfriend, Darnell Cheatham (19 or 20, depending on the article). Mariha’s mother, Konesha Smith, said the last time she saw her little girl was around 3:30am Saturday night/Sunday morning and she was sleeping on the floor with her sister and two younger brothers. Konesha slept, or passed out whichever, on a nearby couch. She woke up around 10:00 Sunday morning and assumed Mariha was watching TV with the other children. Around 12:00 she realized that Mariha was not in the house and no one had seen her since 3:30am. That’s when she finally notified police.
Police arrested Darnell Cheatham, the aforementioned boyfriend, Friday, August 5th. He was identified by several family and community members as the man seen in a grainy surveillance video buying $.41 of gasoline from a station near the burned out vacant house. He failed his first go round with the polygraph test but police didn’t have enough evidence to hold him. Did I mention that the aunt, Quanita, also failed her polygraph test? Well, she did. They’re still looking for her but Cheatham is sitting his alleged murdering ass in jail but only on probation violation charges. No one has yet been charged with Mariha’s murder.
So, all of this is disgusting and horrible but why are they here? Well, technically, Cheatham isn’t a breeder (as far as I’ve been able to find) but let’s take a look at Konesha. Although she and her four children were not living with her boy toy, she was living in a house with a man who, according to just about every family member quoted, just wasn’t right. Now, I totally get that times can get hard. You should be able to lean on family to help you out but by all accounts she had more than one sister, why the hell did she subject her children to this man? What the hell was a 5-year-old child doing up at 3:30 in the morning and then sleeping on a floor while mommy dearest camped out on the couch? How was she missing for possibly 10 hours before her mother noticed? I have way too many questions to list but the bottom line is, this baby girl died at the hands of a boyfriend who should never have had access to her to begin with.
ATTN: Women of the world (men, too)
RE: Child Safety
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR LETTING PEOPLE INTO THE LIVES OF YOUR CHILDREN. YOU MUST TAKE THAT RESPONSIBILITY SERIOUSLY. IF YOU DO NOT, CHILDREN MAY WIND UP DEAD BECAUSE YOU’RE A MORON!!!
RIP baby girl – you didn’t deserve this.
Thanks to Dawn and the divine Ms. A(pril) for this one.