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Aliayah Lunsford case: Mom of long-missing W.Va. girl guilty of murder

Aliayah Lunsford is pictured, left, next to an age-progressed image developed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

WOWK/NCMEC

WESTON, W.Va. -- A woman who reported her 3-year-old daughter missing in West Virginia in 2011 has been convicted of murder and other charges.

A Lewis County Circuit Court jury reached the verdict Monday in the trial of Lena Marie Lunsford Conaway, CBS affiliate WOWK-TV reports.

Conaway, 35, was convicted of murder of a child by parent by failure to provide necessities, death of a child by parent by child abuse, child abuse resulting in injury and concealment of a dead body.

The body of her daughter, Aliayah Lunsford, was never found.

According to a 2017 criminal complaint, witnesses said they saw Conaway bludgeoning the girl. Witnesses said Aliayah fell to the ground and died hours later.

The complaint says Conaway then withheld medical attention and prevented others from summoning help.

Conaway's two older daughters had testified she hit Aliayah in the head, then put her body in a clothes hamper and dumped it in the woods.

Conaway faces up to life in prison. Jurors now must determine whether Conaway will be eligible for parole.