Mother says 2-year-old died in her arms

By: Michael Yoshida, Action News Jax

Updated:

A 20-year-old man is in jail, accused of killing the 2-year-old girl entrusted to his care.

Aaliyah Lewis' family is heartbroken. The girl's relatives say they just celebrated her second birthday a little more than a week ago.

Now Jamarius Graham, the boyfriend of Aaliyah’s mom, is in jail on child abuse charges. Aaliyah's mom, Donisha Barlow, told Action News Jax that Graham beat Aaliyah because she had an accident.

For two years, Aaliyah lit up her family's world.

“She was my only child. She was my everything and I lost her,” Barlow said.

Now the mother is trying to figure out why.

“The only thing she kept (saying) … ‘Mah!’ I said “Liyah!”… “Mah!”… Ahe was in pain. And I couldn’t do nothing about it. I tried, I tried. And she took her last breath in my arms,” Barlow said.

Graham, a man Barlow said she’s known for years, has now been arrested for child abuse.

“He came to pick me up from work. I picked her up and I say ‘What is wrong with Liyah? Why does she look like she is sad?’ He said he gave her a whooping,” Barlow said.


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Barlow said she and Graham tried to get help for Aaliyah. They drove to a nearby fire station.

“I’m out there trying to do CPR on my child. I’m scared to lose my child. I feel like I’m going to lose my child right in front of me,” Barlow said.

A little girl who had so much to look forward to is gone.

“My daughter’s not here anymore. She cannot grow up and go to high school. She can’t experience that. She can’t go to prom. She can’t go to college. She cannot experience what little girls, toddler girls experience cause that got taken away from her,” Barlow said.

A life was lost and a mother is left wanting one last word.

“I always said I love her. She always said she loved me back. She was always happy, always had a big smile on her face. I never knew that yesterday would be the last day that I had to say I love you for the last time,” Barlow said.

Kenneth Barlow, Aaliyah’s grandfather, talked about the moments he shared with Aaliyah, time spent dancing, laughing and even working on her ABCs. He said even though Aaliyah was a small child, she was there for him when he needed her.

“She was a little angel ... . "The reason I say she is my angel is when I had my stroke, she stood by me the whole time in this house until the rescue wagon came and rolled me out,” Kenneth Barlow said.

Now with his granddaughter gone, Barlow said he has one message for Graham: “I hope he rot in hell. That’s what I hope. I want him to rot in hell.”

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